That is, if HR2647 passes. This bill originally passed the House without the Hate Crimes legislation included, but it was added as an amendment in the Senate. The text of the legislation gives the Attorney General, currently Eric H. Holder, Jr., the right to determine if a group is “associated with hate-related violence against groups or persons or the United States Government”. From the legislative text,
(2) DEFINITION OF HATE GROUP.—In this subsection, the terms ‘group associated with hate-related violence’ or ‘hate group’ mean the following:
(A) Groups or organizations that espouse or engage in acts of violence against other groups or minorities based on ideals of hate, ethnic supremacies, white supremacies, racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, or other bigotry ideologies. [emphasis mine]
It gets worse as we go:
(G) Other groups or organizations that are determined by the Attorney General to be of a violent, extremist nature. [emphasis mine]
If you think Tea Party activists and bloggers are safe from this legislation, think again.
(3) EVIDENCE OF ASSOCIATION OR AFFILATION WITH HATE GROUP.—The following shall constitute evidence that a person is associated or affiliated with a group associated with hate-related violence:
(A) Individuals possessing tattoos or other body markings indicating association or affiliation with a hate group.
(B) Individuals known to have attended meetings, rallies, conferences, or other activities sponsored by a hate group.
(C) Individuals known to be involved in online activities with a hate group, including being engaged in online discussion groups or blog or other postings that support, encourage, or affirm the group’s extremist or violent views and goals.
(D) Individuals who are known to have in their possession photographs, written testimonials (including diaries or journals), propaganda, or other materials indicating involvement or affiliation with a hate group. Such materials can include photographs, written materials relating to or referring to extreme hatred that are clearly not of an academic nature, possession of objects that venerate or glorify hateinspired violence, and related materials, as determined by the Attorney General. [emphasis mine]
Congress has decided to give the Administration the ability to silence its critics. All that needs to be done is to have the Attorney General define their organization as a hate group. It’s clear that Obama plans to attack his critics. This legislation would appear to be a violation of due process, but with Obama stacking the courts with his appointees, I wouldn’t be surprised if they ruled otherwise.
As if the legislation itself weren’t bad enough, the Congress, in cowardly fashion, has attached it to an urgently needed military spending bill in an effort to force Republicans to vote for it. Once again the progressives in Congress are attempting to sneak something in through the back door. Mike Coffman (R, CO-06) had this to say,
I voted against the NDAA final conference report because of the Democrats’ decision to attach a completely unrelated measure to our defense funding bill. The Senate-passed version of the “Hate Crimes” legislation placed in the final conference report will have chilling effects on religious freedoms and free speech. I strongly oppose including the measure in a bill that is designed to provide resources for our soldiers whose job it is to protect the very freedoms this provision will erode.
The 111th Congress is giving this Administration more and more power. Unless their intent is to create a North American Hugo Chavez, they should reconsider their current strategy. If they don’t, they could end up being even less significant than they currently are. The 912 Project has more on this important legislation.
Crossposted at Night Twister