Thursday, May 21, 2009

'Thought crimes' bill advances in Congress

by Nat Hentoff

Why is the press remaining mostly silent about the so-called "hate crimes law" that passed in the House on April 29? The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act passed in a 249-175 vote (17 Republicans joined with 231 Democrats).

These Democrats should have been tested on their knowledge of the First Amendment, equal protection of the laws (14th Amendment), and the prohibition of double jeopardy (no American can be prosecuted twice for the same crime or offense). If they had been, they would have known that this proposal, now headed for a Senate vote, violates all these constitutional provisions.

For more on this commentary, go to Also, to keep updated on the status of H.R. 1913, refer to the widget on the left galley of The Free Press.

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