Hate Crimes Bill Combined With Funding for Troops

The Senate Democratic leadership has added Ted Kennedy’s controversial hate-crimes bill to a defense authorization bill, in an effort to make it politically impossible for Bush to veto the hate-crimes bill.

I have previously explained how the hate-crimes bill erodes constitutional protections against double jeopardy and principles of federalism. (The double jeopardy issue is discussed here, here, and here, while the federalism issue is discussed here and here).

Justice Department attorneys have argued that portions of the bill exceed Congress’s regulatory powers under the Commerce Clause and Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The House earlier passed a hate-crimes bill virtually identical to Ted Kennedy’s bill in a vote split largely along party lines.