ADL Welcomes Senate Approval of Hate Crimes Law
Update: The federal hate crime bill was stripped from the Department of Defense Authorization bill on December 6, 2007. More
New York, NY, October 1, 2007 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) hailed Senate approval of legislation to expand federal hate crimes laws. The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crime Prevention Act (LLEHCPA) will eliminate gaps in federal authority to investigate and prosecute bias-motivated crimes. On September 27, the Senate voted 60-39 to end a filibuster against the bill -- and then passed the provision as an amendment to the Department of Defense Authorization bill by voice vote.
Glen S. Lewy, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
We welcome Senate approval of this necessary legislation. For more than a decade, the League has been privileged to help lead an extraordinarily broad coalition of civil rights, education, law enforcement, civic, and religious communities working in support of this legislation, which will promote federal and state partnership efforts to combat hate violence.
This measure will permit the Justice Department to assist local hate crime prosecutions and, where appropriate, to investigate and prosecute cases in which bias violence occurs because of the victim's race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability. Existing law does not provide sufficient authority for federal involvement in these cases. The bill approved by the Senate is nearly identical to a separate-standing measure, H.R. 1592, approved by the House 237-180 on May 3.
Today we are closer to enacting this legislation than we have ever been. We are disappointed that senior advisors in the White House continue to recommend that the President veto this legislation – which has received bipartisan, majority support every time the House and Senate have voted on it over the past ten years. We will work hard to convince the President that the time has come for this important legislation.
Forty-five states and the District of Columbia have passed hate crime statutes, many based on model legislation drafted by ADL.
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.