The ADL Applauds Senate's Passage of Hate Crime Legislation. The Bill which is known as the The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act, passed the Senate 63-28, and is supported by the President who will sign it into law. Organizations such as the ADL have aggressively promoted hate crime legislation. These organizations have endorsed Europe and Canada's policies on prosecuting what they deem as hate speech. The ADL openly advocates for their model anti-hate law which has been adopted by many states.
The bill is unconstitutional because it violates the 10th Amendment by granting the Federal Government authority over local and state government in prosecuting hate crimes. It violates the 14th Amendment by granting certain groups special protected status, as well the double jeopardy clause of the 5th amendment.
Recently the Plains State ADLdirector denounced the 1st Amendment by saying that "freedom of speech does not extend to racist groups, nor give their supporters the right to threaten and intimidate others or commit acts of violence."In many western nations, an individual can be prosecuted by the government for certain speech. In 1988 the ADL gave out an award to law student Joseph Ribikoff for writing a proposed hate crime bill that would criminalize hate speech against gays and minorities.
In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, ADL Washington counsel Michael Lieberman spoke in support of the Hate Crimes Bill. "We have no illusions about this legislation," Lieberman testified. "We know that bigotry, racism, homophobia, and anti-Semitism cannot be legislated out of existence. A new federal law that finally addresses all victims of hate crimes will not eliminate them."