Focus Point - Hate Speech

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. There's a lot of bipartisan ballyhoo about a piece of proposed legislation with the antiseptic tag of "the local law enforcement act of 2001." Who could be opposed, the right?

Well, I am, for one.

This is a variation of a bill that was shot down in the last congress when it went by the more descriptive but less salable name of the hate crimes bill. It seems to have more support now, but it's just as misguided.

Why is it necessary for the feds to intrude into local law enforcement? The implication is obvious: Don't trust you to arrest and prosecute criminals, something that must make local cops and prosecutors seeth.

Federal hate crime laws also imply some lives are more valuable than others. Finally, they assume authorities are capable of divining motives from actions where they may not have existed.

Assuming the bill passes I hope President Bush will simply say that all victims are equal, and veto it.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont, and I'll see you next time.