Combating Hate Crimes: Promoting a Responsive and Responsible Role for the Federal Government, Hearing Before the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, One Hundred Sixth Congress, First Session on Examining How to Promote a Responsive and Responsible Role for the Federal Government on Combating Hate Crimes, Focusing on the Relationship Between the Federal Government and the States in Combating Hate Crime, Analysis of States' Prosecution of Hate Crimes, Development of a Hate Crime Legislation Model, and Existing Federal Hate Crime Law, May 11, 1999   [open pdf - 491KB]

From the prepared statement of Gordon Smith: "Today we meet to address a serious problem in America. This problem is not a new one, nor is it unique to the United States. It is the incidence of vicious attacks on individuals motivated by a difference in race, color, religion, ethnicity, gender, disability or sexual orientation. […] I do not stand here with my colleagues today to single out one crime as worse than another. However, there is an undeniable pattern here in the United States--certain groups have historically been singled out as targets of violent crime. In recent years, the United States has made tremendous strides toward equality and civil rights. But there remains much to be done. Hate crimes have a deep impact on our communities. They enrage, they divide. Federal laws are already in place to protect victims of crimes based on race, color, religion or national origin; however, federal prosecution has been limited to crimes committed within federal jurisdiction. This legislation would simply remove these restrictions and extend the authority of federal prosecution to crimes based on gender, sexual orientation, and disability. We are making current federal law not only more enforceable but are ensuring that this law includes the groups that are victimized by this hate. The Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 1999 does not interfere with states' rights; rather, it allows federal prosecutors to assist states that do not have the resources to prosecute a case expediently and justly. The act will promote cooperation between the federal government and state governments by removing current federal hurdles and by creating uniformity." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Orrin G. Hatch, Ron Wyden, Gordon Smith, Edward M. Kennedy, Eric H. Holder, Judy Shepard, Patrick Leahy, Jeanine Ferris Pirro, Kenneth T. Brown, Robert H. Knight, Burt Neuborne, Akhil Reed Amar, American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Women Policy Studies, Catrina Durr's Law Students (Thornton Township High School, Harvey, IL), Linda Franklin's Third Period Students (Thornton Township High School, Harvey, IL), Timothy Lynch, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, National Organization for Women (NOW) Legal Defense and Education Fund, Riki Anne Witchins.

Report Number:
S. Hrg. 106-517; Senate Hearing 106-517; Serial No. J-106-25
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Government Printing Office, Federal Digital System: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/
Media Type:
Help with citations