Video archive of the US Congress

House Proceeding 04-29-09 on Apr 29th, 2009 :: 0:06:00 to 0:10:05
Total video length: 1 hours 56 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Lamar S. Smith

0:05:57 to 0:06:18( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: and i urge you careful consideration of it, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time. the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: mr. speaker, every year thousands of violent crimes are committed out of hate.

Lamar S. Smith

0:06:00 to 0:10:05( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Lamar S. Smith

Lamar S. Smith

0:06:19 to 0:06:40( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: but just as many violent crimes, if not more, are motivated by something other than hate, greed, jealousy, desperation or revenge, just to name a few. an individual'sotivation for committing a violent crime is usually complex and often speculative. every violent crime is deplorable regardless of its motivation. every violent crime can be

Lamar S. Smith

0:06:41 to 0:07:01( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: devastating, not only to the victim and their family but also to the larger community who -- whose sense of safety has been violated. that's why all violent crimes should be vigorously prosecuted. unfortunately, this bill undermines one of the most basic principles of our criminal justice system, equal justice for all.

Lamar S. Smith

0:07:02 to 0:07:23( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: under this bill justice will no longer be equal. justice will now depend on the race, gender, sexual orientation, disability or other protected status of the victim. it will allow different penalties to be imposed for the same crime. this is the real injustice. one of the most troublesome

Lamar S. Smith

0:07:24 to 0:07:44( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: aspects of this bill is that it divides america, it divides america by race, gender, sexual orientation, or other status. we should focus on the opposite, uniting america, not dividing our country. the bill also could have a chilling effect on the words of religious leaders or members of religious groups.

Lamar S. Smith

0:07:45 to 0:08:05( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: for example, religious individuals who feel strongly about some values may hesitate to discuss their personal beliefs about homosexuality or gay marriage for fear of criminal investigation. some of my colleagues on the other side claim that the bill protects religious speech, but religious leaders could still be subjected to criminal investigations and be reluctant

Lamar S. Smith

0:08:06 to 0:08:27( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: to preach the teachings of their faith as a result of this bill. in addition, the bill itself is probably unconstitutional and will be struck down by the courts. there is little evidence to support the claim that hate crimes impact interstate or foreign commerce and important consideration for any federal court reviewing the constitutionality of this legislation.

Lamar S. Smith

0:08:28 to 0:08:48( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: in 2000, the supreme court in the united states v. morrison, struck down a prohibition on gender motivated violence. in that case the courts specifically warned congress that the commerce clause does not extend to, quote, noneconomic violent criminal conduct, end quote, that does not cross state lines.

Lamar S. Smith

0:08:49 to 0:09:11( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: nor is the proposed legislation authorized under the 14th and 15th amendments. those amendments extend only to state action and do not cover the actions of private persons who commit violent crimes. while the 13th amendment reaches private actions such as individual criminal conduct, it is difficult to argue that one's religion or national

Lamar S. Smith

0:09:12 to 0:09:33( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: origin constitutes a badge or incident of slavery, the subject of the 13th amendment. also, this bill purports to federalize c being successfully prosecuted by our states and local governments. . furthermore f.b.i. statistics show that hate crimes has substantially declined over the last 10 years.

Lamar S. Smith

0:09:34 to 0:09:55( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: in 2007, for example, of approximately 17,000 homicides that occurred in the u.s., only nine of the 17,000 of the murders were determined to be motivated by bias. this legislation blurs the between violent belief, which is actually protected, and violent action which is not.

Lamar S. Smith

0:09:56 to 0:10:05( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: if we go down this road, where does it end? with speech monitors an thought police? i urge my colleagues to oppose the bill and i reserve the

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