ADL Hails Senate Passage of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act
New York, NY, July 23, 1999
.The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today hailed Senate
passage of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HCPA), legislation designed to eliminate gaps
in Federal authority to investigate and prosecute bias-motivated crimes. The League had
submitted testimony in support of the HCPA at hearings before the Senate Judiciary
Committee last May.
"We applaud the Senate action to approve the Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The
tragic bias-motivated shootings over the July 4 weekend in Illinois and Indiana, the
recent murder of a gay couple in California, and the arson attacks on synagogues in
Sacramento in June, are only the most recent examples of hate crimes," said Howard P.
Berkowitz, ADL National Chairman, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "In
choosing to incorporate the HCPA into a larger appropriations bill, the Senate clearly
recognized the broad support this measure has attracted from law enforcement groups, civil
rights organizations, religious denominations, and state and local government
The HCPA, one of the Leagues top legislative priorities for the 106th
Congress, would provide expanded authority for the Department of Justice to assist in
local hate crime prosecutions, and, where appropriate, to investigate and prosecute cases
in which the bias violence occurs because of the victims sexual orientation, gender,
or disability. Current federal law does not provide authority for involvement in those
"Recognizing that bias crimes have a dramatic impact on local communities, almost
every state has now enacted a hate crime statute, many based on an ADL model law,"
said Mr. Berkowitz and Mr. Foxman. "We will continue to press for enactment of this
important measure in the House of Representatives."
The HCPA is sponsored by Sens. Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Arlen Specter (R-PA), Ron Wyden
(D-OR), Gordon Smith (R-OR), and Charles Schumer (D-NY) in the Senate and Reps. John
Conyers (D-MI), Connie Morella (R-MD), Barney Frank (D-MA), and Michael Forbes (D-NY) in
the House. The HCPA is strongly supported by President Clinton, the Department of Justice,
twenty-two state Attorneys General, and a broad range of national civil rights groups,
state and local government associations, and law enforcement organizations.
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.