Skip to comments.House passes 'thought crimes' bill 237 to 180
Posted on 05/03/2007 1:02:59 PM PDT by EShellenberger
The House of Representatives has passed a bill that would punish offenders more severely if a criminal assault or murder could be proven to have been motivated by the attackers alleged hatred for the victim because of the victim's "sexual orientation," though that term is not defined in the legislation.
A news release from the Family Research Council (FRC) called the legislation "a direct violation of the 14th Amendment which affords equal protection under the law."
Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, top Republican on the Judiciary Committee agreed.
"Our criminal justice system has been built on the ideal of equal justice for all," Smith said. "Under this bill justice will no longer be equal, but [will] depend on the race, sex, sexual orientation, disability or status of the victim."
FRC says the "Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007," H.R. 1592, which passed by a vote of 237 to 180, would, "grant certain victims of crimes allegedly motivated by bias greater protection than other victims of violence.
"Criminalizing thoughts as well as actions, and creating special categories of victims is unconstitutional," said Tony Perkins, FRC president. "The actions of a majority of the House today undermine the promise of equal protection under the law guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.
"This legislation creates second-class victims and a legal system of 'separate and unequal,'" he added.
The Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee defended the bill.
"It does not impinge on public speech or writing in any way," Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.)argued.
But Dr. James C. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, warned that the true intent of the bill was "to muzzle people of faith who dare to express their moral and biblical concerns about homosexuality." If you read the Bible in a certain way, he told his broadcast listeners, "you may be guilty of committing a 'thought crime.'"
Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) explained his opposition to the bill in a news release issued just after the vote was taken.
"The law should not distinguish between victims or levy higher penalties based on a criminal's supposed motive," Wilson wrote. "Our legal system was founded on the principle that justice is blind. It is our duty to uphold this standard."
But the South Carolina Republican also echoed Dobson's concerns.
"[C]ertain provisions of this bill would inhibit the free practice of religion and compromise First Amendment rights," Wilson explained. "For these reasons, I could not support this legislation."
Twenty-five Republicans crossed party lines to support the bill. Fourteen Democrats did the same to oppose it.
The White House issued a "Statement of Administration Policy" shortly before the vote indicating that President Bush might veto the legislation, if it passes the Senate and is sent to his desk.
"The Administration favors strong criminal penalties for violent crime, including crime based on personal characteristics such as race, color, religion, or national origin," the statement said. "However, the Administration believes that H.R. 1592 is unnecessary and constitutionally questionable. If H.R. 1592 were presented to the President, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill."
The statement goes on to explain that the acts covered by the legislation are already illegal under the laws of all 50 states and that states have had no difficulty prosecuting such crimes. In addition, the White House notes that many states impose penalties for these crimes that are more severe than those proposed in the bill.
I hate the 237 weasels who voted for this travesty!
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
Chances the President signs the damn thing?
Which of the Weasels were Pubicrats????....Names Please....
Wow! The Rats are pissing all over the Constitution!
Here’s the vote.
We need names.
Give us names!
Careful, there - hatred of 'Rats will be the next "thought crime" to be defined by these budding commissars.
This is curious. I called my House rep and was told this bill had gone back to committee.
The Minority Report, 1984, and It Can’t Happen Here, all in one convenient legislative package.
Might as well dress it up a little and call it the Enabling Acts.
IIRC, Bush has already said he’ll veto it. The House results are way short of a veto-proof majority, so for the time being, this travesty ought to be dead in the water.
Law can establish penalties for actions, not for thoughts, intentions or wishes. Any law that penalizes for thoughts, intentions or wishes is invalid.
Problem is that the whole judicial system is complicit and won’t accept what I just said. This means that the whole judicial system is corrupt.
Also, if you contacted your senator/congressperson, it was a waste of time. This law was going to be passed no matter what the people thought.
Judy Biggert, Mary Bono, Mike Castle, Charlie Dent, Mark Kirk, the Diaz-Balart bros & Irena Ros-Lehtinen (Cuban trio = gay-friendly), English, Mike Ferguson, Rod Freylinghausen, Jim Gerlach, Wayne Gilchrest, Jim McCrery(?!), Frank LoBiondo, Ray LaHood, Kuhl, Platts, Jon Porter (?!), Deb Pryce, Dave Reichert, Saxton, Chrissy Shays, Greg Walden, Walsh.
Mostly from liberal states, though some of them are in many respects conservative.
Apologies to those whose first names I couldn't recall.
This will last about 2 days before the supreme court strikes it down for violating the equal protection clause.
Doreen Vigue, a former co-host on WRKO used to push Hate Crimes by saying that “sexual Orientation”, “Race” etc, was “Added Value”. She would say that phrase slowly and clearly so us Troglodytes could absorb its profundity. Her assertion that those traits are “added value” over a cookie cutter White guy proves the violence that Hate Crime Laws do to the 14th Amendment.
Exactly! Thanks for listing them.
Judy Biggert, IL-13
Mary Bono, CA-45
Mike Castle, DE-AL
Charles Dent, PA-15
Lincoln Diaz-Balart, FL-21
Mario Diaz-Balart, FL-25
Phil English, PA-3
Mike Ferguson, NJ-7
Rodney Freylinghouse, NJ-11
Jim Gerlach, PA-6
Wayne Gilchrist, MD-1
Mark Kirk, IL-10
John "Randy" Kuhl, NY-29
Ray LaHood, IL-18
Frank LoBiondo, NJ-2
Jim McCrery, LA-4
Todd Platts, PA-19
Jon Porter, NV-3
Deborah Pryce, OH-15
David Reichert, WA-8
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, FL-18
Jim Saxton, NJ-3
Chris Shays, CT-4
Greg Walden, OR-2
James Walsh, NY-25
Most all of them come from districts in blue states, or else from socially liberal districts that just happen to be in red states (i.e., LA-4, IIRC, contains part of New Orleans).
Yeah, 4 of them from NJ, where even when you vote for a Republican, you're really voting for (and suffering under) a dimmicrat.
Thanks.....Three JerseyPubs on the list.
Careful. Hating them is a thought crime. ;)
That’s FOUR JerseyPubs...including the putative Pub, Ferguson
Thought Crime bill? When I read the headline, I thought this was an anti flag burning bill...
LA-4 actually is in the northwest corner of the state. It includes Shreveport, Bossier City and a slew of smaller, rural parishes to the south. It voted 59%-41% for Bush. Why McCrery would vote for this bill is beyond me.
Mike Arcuri (New York) Yes
Joe Baca (California) Yes
John Barrow (Georgia) Yes
Marion Berry (Arkansas) No
Sanford Bishop (Georgia) Yes
Dan Boren (Oklahoma) No
Leonard Boswell (Iowa) Yes
Allen Boyd (Florida), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Administration Yes
Dennis Cardoza (California) Yes
Ben Chandler (Kentucky) Yes
Jim Cooper (Tennessee) Yes
Jim Costa (California) Yes
Bud Cramer (Alabama) No
Lincoln Davis (Tennessee) No
Joe Donnelly (Indiana) No
Brad Ellsworth (Indiana) No
Kirsten Gillibrand (New York) Yes
Jane Harman (California) Yes
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (South Dakota), Blue Dog Whip Yes
Baron Hill (Indiana) Yes
Tim Holden (Pennsylvania) Yes
Steve Israel (New York) Yes
Tim Mahoney (Florida) Yes
Jim Marshall (Georgia) Yes
Jim Matheson (Utah) Yes
Mike McIntyre (North Carolina) No
Charlie Melancon (Louisiana) No
Mike Michaud (Maine) Yes
Dennis Moore (Kansas), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Policy Yes
Patrick Murphy (Pennsylvania) Yes
Collin Peterson (Minnesota) No
Earl Pomeroy (North Dakota) Yes
Mike Ross (Arkansas), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Communications No
John Salazar (Colorado) Yes
Loretta Sanchez (California) Yes
Adam Schiff (California) Yes
David Scott (Georgia) Yes
Heath Shuler (North Carolina) No
John Tanner (Tennessee) Not voting
Gene Taylor (Mississippi) No
Mike Thompson (California) Yes
Charlie Wilson (Ohio) Yes
The bottom line is that, except in a few cases mostly in the South, a Blue Dog Democrat is just another liberal.
Actually the law does that all the time.
For a particular action (say, killing your wife), whether it's a crime at all will depend on your intent. Was it your intention to kill your wife, or was it an accident?
Furthermore, the extent of the penalty you receive also will depend on your thoughts and intentions. Had you thought it out for weeks ahead (first degree murder) or did you kill your wife in a fit of passion when you came home early and found her in bed with your best friend (manslaughter)?
What this bill does is elevate groups of victims like homosexuals and blacks into "first class citizens" while victims who happen to be heterosexual white males are made into "second class citizens."
So you kill your wife, who you discovered was cheating with your best friend. But now let's change the facts and postulate that you kill your wife, who was cheating with your best friend's WIFE.
Now that changes everything, under this law. Now you could go to jail for even longer, because you killed someone who practiced homosexuality. And the evidence to be presented at your trial will be, did LeftismIsMentallyDeranged ever say anything negative about homosexuality? Did LeftismIsMentallyDeranged ever attend a church which preached against homosexuality?
And if you did, what will the members of the jury say, those same jurors who attended the government schools and get their news and opinions from the MSM, about what was in LeftismIsMentallyDeranged's heart, and about what you are guilty of?
So what is amazing to me is for once I agree with James Dobson. This bill is nothing more than an attempt to muzzle ANYBODY who, in public statement or writing, says anything negative about homosexuality.
More specifically what would happen is some minister will say homosexuality is a sin (which it is), and some numbnutt who attended that same church at SOME point in his life goes off and commits a violent crime against a homosexual, then the state can come after the minister for inciting a hate crime.
Anybody who denies this would be the outcome (John Conyers) is either naive or a liar or both.
Conyers is leftist slime. He knows exactly what he’s doing.
Both Diaz-Balarts voted for this? I thought they were conservative. The usual RINOs(Bono, Shays, Kirk, etc) are on the list.
I stand corrected!
The President said he would veto the bill if it passes. The text of his statement follows:
“The Administration favors strong criminal penalties for violent crime, including crime based on personal characteristics, such as race, color, religion, or national origin. However, the Administration believes that H.R. 1592 is unnecessary and constitutionally questionable. If H.R. 1592 were presented to the President, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.”
“State and local criminal laws already provide criminal penalties for the violence addressed by the new Federal crime defined in section 7 of H.R. 1592, and many of these laws carry stricter penalties (including mandatory minimums and the death penalty) than the proposed language in H.R. 1592. State and local law enforcement agencies and courts have the capability to enforce those penalties and are doing so effectively. There has been no persuasive demonstration of any need to federalize such a potentially large range of violent crime enforcement, and doing so is inconsistent with the proper allocation of criminal enforcement responsibilities between the different levels of government. In addition, almost every State in the country can actively prosecute hate crimes under the State’s own hate crimes law.”
“H.R. 1592 prohibits willfully causing or attempting to cause bodily injury to any person based upon the victim’s race, color, religion, or national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. The Administration notes that the bill would leave other classes (such as the elderly, members of the military, police officers, and victims of prior crimes) without similar special status. The Administration believes that all violent crimes are unacceptable, regardless of the victims, and should be punished firmly.
“Moreover, the bill’s proposed section 249(a)(1) of title 18 of the U.S. Code raises constitutional concerns. Federalization of criminal law concerning the violence prohibited by the bill would be constitutional only if done in the implementation of a power granted to the Federal government, such as the power to protect Federal personnel, to regulate interstate commerce, or to enforce equal protection of the laws. Section 249(a)(1) is not by its terms limited to the exercise of such a power, and it is not at all clear that sufficient factual or legal grounds exist to uphold this provision of H.R. 1592.”
This is why I love FR. I don’t even have to break the vote down or do any research. Somebody’s already done it. Thanks.
Secret thought police agent at work.
The Senate is far worse than the House on such matters, and I believe it will pass the Senate easily.
The only silver lining in this black cloud of political correctness run amok is the news earlier today saying Bush may veto it. We'll see.
Holding my breath for the ACLU to denounce it...
Ya’ll better come check on me if I ain’t back in a few days.
Zero. When he says he’d veto, he’s done it.
This was before the invention of HVAC.
Maybe we should ban HVAC in all government buildings in Washington, DC.
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These says “surveillance techniques” make the quartering of soldiers unnecessary to listen to what is said within a home. Make no mistake the people pushing these bills will use surveillance to suppress “unacceptable speech”.
This is exactly the sort of thing that drove the founding fathers to rebel against their government. Our Representatives need a reminder. They fancy themselves to be the Earls and Dukes of old.
It actually "sieg".
I got to correct your German... oooh that felt good
We can only hope that he, in a lapse of his compassionate-conservatism nature, does veto this as a small gesture to those who contributed money and time to get him elected and re-elected.
Musn't hold our breath.
If the court does what we would expect it to do,then yes this law is doomed.I don’t have much faith in the court following the Constitution anymore.
Thanks for the link. As expected, my congressman did not do the right thing, but it helps to confirm it.
I have already written him, politely expressing my dissatisfaction with his vote. Politely, because I’m still lobbying him everyday to seal the borders.
Not that he will do the right thing there, either.
God help us. I guess it’s time for the end.