Eric Holder can’t seem to do squat for transparency, privacy, accountability or a plethora of other ills carried over from the Bush/Cheney Administration, but he is concerned that we need more hate crime laws:
"Over the last several weeks, we have witnessed brazen acts of violence, committed in places that many would have considered unthinkable," Holder told the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs.
He cited separate attacks over a two-week period that killed a young soldier, an abortion provider and a guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
In order to stop that violence, he said, Congress should past an updated version of hate crimes legislation, in order to more effectively prosecute those who commit violent attacks based on gender, disability, or sexual orientation.
Yeah, that bunk ought to really stop Tiller’s killer, the Arkansas recruiting center shooter and the von Brunns of the world from committing murders when that piddly old first degree murder capital offense with the death penalty couldn’t. Okay, I want to be completely honest, the District of Columbia does not have the death penalty, but it certainly has life in prison available for the offense of premeditated murder. Both Kansas and Arkansas, the locations of the other two heinous crimes, do indeed have the death penalty for such offenses. What exactly does Eric Holder think the "hate crimes" he is demagoguing about are going to do for deterrence that the death penalty or life in prison won’t?
I have a problem with "hate crime" laws. We already have laws for assault and battery, murder, intimidation etc. The same conduct, and level of conduct, should not have different laws and heightened penalties because it is targeted to a minority or other protected group. Why is the assault of a black worth more than an assault on on a white? Why is an assault on a gay man any more heinous than an assault on a straight? Why is one group of human beings entitled to more protection under the law than another? Yet, that is exactly what hate crime legislation does. This really flies in the face of the quintessential Constitutional and founding concepts of equal protection, fundamental fairness and all men being created equal.
The Supreme Court disagrees, but that is my take. And no matter what your view, I would argue that Eric Holder and the United States Department of Justice have far more important tasks to attend to right now, and they have been failing miserably on most.
By the way, Eric Holder is appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning at 10:00 am EST.