May 13, 2013
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Admit it: No one has any idea what's going on
April 22, 2013
US man departing country arrested on terror charges
An unorthodox but growing treatment in a 9-year-old's battle against cancer
April 19, 2013
Caroline B. Glick:
Why Obama's visit to Israel had no impact on public opinion or government policy
Gold collapse: The start of something big?
Livable super-Earths? Two candidates among Kepler's latest finds
April 17, 2013
Too much of a good thing? 'Palestinians' realize downside of foreign aid boom
BAD NEWS: EVERYONE IS RIGHT!
April 15, 2013
Egyptian Christians respond with harsh words to attack -- rocks, Molotov cocktails, and gunfire -- against main cathedral
Marcy Darnovsky and Karuna Jaggar:
High Court to decide if you should own your DNA
US bracing for more Russian blowback after taking action against 18 more human rights violators
April 12, 2013
New cybersecurity bill: Privacy threat or crucial band-aid?
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom:
The Kosher Gourmet by Susan Russo:
Jackie Robinson's Friend, Hank Greenberg; CNN's Jake Tapper; Texas County in the News is named for 19thC. Jewish soldier and Congressman
FRUITY QUINOA STUFFED PEPPERS: A flavorful, colorful and edible vessel of delicately fluffy, mildly nutty filling combined with chewy apricots, tangy cherries, and crunchy pistachios
April 10, 2013
North Korean missiles: Could US shoot them down?
Warning: Don't waste your capital being fooled by profit prophets
Donald Hensrud, M.D.:
Mayo Clinic Medical Edge: Take vitamin supplements with caution --- even approved, they may actually do damage
74 DNA discoveries move cure closer for three cancers
April 8, 2013
Jonathan Tobin: What Part of No Preconditions Do American Jews Not Get?
Is Putin finally trading his own party for a new power base?
Jewish World Review
May 13, 2007
/ 26 Iyar, 5767
A bustling hate-crime industry
Political entrepreneurship involves devising benefits to excite or mollify niche constituencies. Hence HR 1592, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007, which has passed the House, trailing clouds of sanctimony lots of members announced their hatred of hate.
Hate-crime laws 45 states already have them; Congress does not mind being duplicative mandate enhanced punishments for crimes committed because of thoughts that government especially disapproves of. That is, crimes committed because of, not merely accompanied by, those thoughts. Mind-reading juries are required to distinguish causation from correlation.
The federal hate-crime law enacted in 1968 enhanced punishments only for crimes against persons engaged in a federally protected activity, such as voting. HR 1592 would extend special federal protections to persons who are crime victims because of their race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability. But there are many other groups, so there will be other hate-crime bills.
Hate crimes are seven one-hundredths of 1 percent of all crimes, and 60.5 percent of them consist of vandalism (e.g., graffiti) or intimidation (e.g., verbal abuse). Local law enforcement organizations favor HR 1592, which promises money. Among the more than 200 organizations supposedly ardent for the bill are the American Music Therapy Association, the Aplastic Anemia Foundation of America, Catholics for a Free Choice, Easter Seals, Goodwill Industries, the International Dyslexia Association, Rock the Vote, and the Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics & Ritual. Who knew?
|FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO INFLUENTIAL NEWSLETTER|
Every weekday NewsAndOpinion.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.
Hate-crime laws are indignation gestures. Legislators federalize the criminal law in order to use it as a moral pork barrel to express theatrical empathy. They score points in the sentiment competition by conferring special government concern for more and more particular groups.
Laws hold us responsible for controlling our minds, which should control our conduct. But government increasingly wants to inventory and furnish our minds, removing socially undesirable desires. Law has always had the expressive function of stigmatizing particular kinds of conduct, but hate-crime laws treat certain actions as especially wicked because the actors had odious (although not illegal) frames of mind.
This draws government steadily deeper into stigmatizing certain thoughts and attitudes, which incites more and more groups to clamor for inclusion in the ranks of the especially protected. And Timothy Lynch of the Cato Institute notes that prosecutors of supposed hate crimes must pry into defendants' lives books and magazines read, Internet sites visited, the nature of his or her friends to uncover evidence of unsavory thinking.
If the bill makes it to the president's desk, he probably will veto it because it is moral exhibitionism by Congress with no constitutional authorization. HR 1592 justifies itself under Congress's enumerated power to regulate interstate commerce. The bill simply asserts that hate crimes affect such commerce and are committed using articles that have "traveled" in interstate commerce.
The Supreme Court, however, has rejected"the argument that Congress may regulate noneconomic, violent criminal conduct based solely on that conduct's aggregate effect on interstate commerce. The Constitution requires a distinction between what is truly national and what is truly local."
By conferring special status enhanced protection on certain government-favored groups, HR 1592 traduces the principle of equality before the law. Yet Speaker Nancy Pelosi says it honors "the tradition of our Founders, that every person is created equal." Here is another sample of the House debate, from Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.):
"My granddaughter Julia is 3 years old. She goes to preschool. Even in preschool, they gang up and they bully. The parents at that preschool tell me that my Julia steps in and she stops it. She will not put up with bullying and unfairness. It is our turn. Be as brave as a 3-year-old. Vote for HR 1592."
Plucky Julia aside, questions remain. Are all rapes hate crimes because rapists pick the victims because of their gender? When in 1989, a gang of black and Hispanic youths went "wilding" in Central Park, raping and savagely beating a white jogger, was this considered a hate crime? No, because the youths also assaulted some Hispanics, so their punishment was not enhanced.
When a surveillance camera recently taped a mugger beating and robbing a 101-year-old New York woman, he was charged with a hate crime presumably hatred of the elderly. His attack on a 51-year-old woman was not a hate crime. Complications multiply, protected categories proliferate. Next? People who wear fur or eat meat? Some writings by the killer at Virginia Tech expressed hatred of the rich, but they are not a category protected in this year's hate-crime legislation. Perhaps in next year's.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
George Will's latest book is "With a Happy Eye but: America and the World, 1997-2002" to purchase a copy, click here. Comment on this column by clicking here.
© 2006 WPWG
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Frank J. Gaffney
Victor Davis Hanson
A. Barton Hinkle
Judge A. Napolitano
Cokie & Steve Roberts
Debra J. Saunders
J. D. Crowe
Ask Doctor K