A Federal Hate Crimes Law Is Necessary

Attorney General Eric Holder testified today before a Senate committee on the need for a federal hate crimes bill to supplement state laws across the country, so as to be certain that no hate crime perpetrator falls between the cracks and avoids prosecution.

This is a necessary step to protect people based not only on race, religion, and national origin,  but also disability and sexual orientation.  There are growing numbers of cases of attacks on people of Hispanic origin because of the illegal immigration controversy,  as well as crimes against gays.  The recent spate of hate crimes, including those against the Holocaust Museum in Washington,  D.C.,  the murder of the abortion doctor in Kansas, and the murder of the military recruiter in Arkansas,  necessitates full prosecution under federal law, as well as state laws, to crack down on this series of disgraceful events.

And yet, in the midst of this reality,  we get some conservative Republicans, including Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, questioning the need for such legislation, on the basis of states rights.  They seem to be blind to the reality of what is going on, and the administration needs to work full time to overcome this ridiculous opposition and accomplish the passage of this law as soon as possible!

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