Washington, DC, July 26, 2001 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed the Senate Judiciary Committee’s approval of legislation to expand federal hate crimes laws. The vote marked the first time the committee had acted on the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act as a separate bill.
"We welcome Judiciary Committee approval of this necessary legislation," said Glen A. Tobias, ADL National Chairman, 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 Committee 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, the House 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.
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.
Forty-seven 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.