ADL Expresses "Deep Disappointment" as Hate Crimes Measure is
Stripped from Defense Bill; League Vows to Fight for Passage before Congress
Washington, DC, October 5, 2000 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today
expressed "deep disappointment" at the action today by Republican
leadership of the House and Senate to strip language which would expand current
federal hate crime statutes from a pending defense bill. This provision, the
Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act, had been approved by substantial
bipartisan majorities in the Senate in June and in the House last month.
"We deeply regret the Republican leadership’s decision to ignore clear
bipartisan congressional majorities in acting to strip the hate crime prevention
act from this legislation," said Howard P. Berkowitz, ADL National
Chairman, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "This action
thwarts the will of the substantial bipartisan congressional majorities that
have voted in support of this provision in the Senate and the House." The
League leaders said that "for ADL the fight is far from over. We will
continue to work with White House officials and congressional supporters in
vigorous efforts to ensure that Congress not adjourn without enacting this
The measure removed from the Department of Defense Authorization Bill today
would enable the federal Department of Justice to assist local 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.
Forty-three 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.