Last Wednesday in Washington Post's Richard Cohen on Hate Crime Bill: Why so late? I discussed the curious fact that what was actually a very powerful attack on this atrocious legislation only appeared after it had been attached to the Defense Authorization Act. Before, MSM commentary - especially negative commentary - was very rare. I suggested that the same ruthless discipline which got every Democratic Senator not actually on his deathbed out in the middle of the night to vote for cloture extended to the editorial process: silence was prescribed.
The same influence, unsurprisingly, was at work at National Review. Although presented with scoops, virtually no commentary appeared until after the vote. But, as on Amnesty, NR must have felt the need to keep up with its market. An important essay by Cato's David Rittgers was allowed: Expanding Double Jeopardy August 7 2009.
The hate-crime statute just passed by Congress expands the potential for federal prosecutions to chilling new levels, and even creates the possibility of retrials for crimes that have already been ruled on by state courts. In one fell swoop, lawmakers have virtually ensured legal proceedings that obviously violate the Bill of Rights - and this, for some reason, is being widely hailed as a triumph of justice.
This problem with the Bill went almost undiscussed in the Hearings. Not surprising, since they were only two hours long, more than half taken up with Attorney General Holder's Foot-in-Mouth performance.
Given the Lynch Mob mentality prevalent in the various minorities privileged by Hate crime laws, atrocities are inevitable. As Rittgers says
The power to reprosecute is not one we should grant to any government, much less one with a politicized selection of who will be haled into court. For evidence, look no further than the Duke lacrosse non-rape case a few years ago. If the trial had gone to court and ended in acquittal, would we now be in federal court for a second round?...Politically motivated prosecutions are sure to result from this statute.
The Hate Crime Bill is obnoxious because it makes second class citizens of normal, white, Christian Americans. Its virtually undebated passage, attached to a totally different bill, is an outrage all by itself.
The VDARE.com objection is that it opportunistically uses State power to attack selected political views, and is part of a process planned to expand. Rittgers is absolutely correct to see the Double Jeopardy principle overthrown:
An equally striking feature of the law is that the federal power to prosecute is not dissipated even if the defendant is found guilty by the state. It explicitly says, in fact, that federal charges should be pursued if the state verdict "left demonstratively unvindicated the Federal interest in eradicating bias-motivated violence"