ADL Welcomes Senate Approval of Federal Hate Crimes Law
New York, NY, June 15, 2004 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today hailed Senate approval of legislation to expand federal hate crimes laws. The Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act (LLEEA) will eliminate gaps in federal authority to investigate and prosecute bias-motivated crimes. It passed by a 65-33 margin.
The LLEEA will enable the Department of Justice to assist local hate crime prosecutions and, where appropriate, investigate and prosecute cases in which the bias violence occurs because of the victim's race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender or disability. Existing law does not provide authority for federal involvement in sexual orientation, gender or disability cases.
"We welcome Senate approval of this necessary legislation – and we will go to the mat in support of retaining these provisions in the House-Senate conference," said Barbara B. Balser, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "We will continue our leadership role in coordinating a coalition of law enforcement, civic, religious, and civil rights groups in support of this vital measure."
The hate crime bill endorsed by the Senate today is identical to provisions approved by the Senate 57-42 in June, 2000 as part of the Department of Defense Authorization Bill. In September, 2000 the House of Representatives also voted to add the hate crime provisions to the defense bill, 232-192, but the Republican leadership of the Senate and House stripped the provisions from the final version of the defense bill before enactment.
Forty-six states and the District of Columbia have also passed hate crime statutes, many based on model legislation drafted by ADL. The League has been a pioneer in drafting and promoting tougher hate crimes laws across the country.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.