James Leroy Wilson's blog

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Hate Crimes Bill Addition

Reading Vache Folle's take on the hate crimes bill (H.R. 1592) I thought, well, I read the bill too, and the First Amendment protections weren't in there. That's because I read and had commented on the bill as it was introduced to Congress, whereas Folle read the version that passed the House. (You can look at both versions by going here.) A section had been added:
SEC. 8. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.
Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution.
Don't get me wrong, this is still a bad bill because crime control is a matter best left to the states. But it isn't as bad as it could have been. It looks like the uproar against the bill worked to some degree.

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