Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul Blocks Passage of Anti-Lynching Bill

06 Juin, 2020, 18:41 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul Blocks Passage of Anti-Lynching Bill

"We think that lynching is an bad thing that should be roundly condemned, that should be universally condemned", Paul told reporters at the Capitol. The Senate passed a similar bill in 2019 with unanimous support.

The House did, however, make one symbolic tweak to the legislation: the Democratic-led chamber renamed the bill the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act, as a way to honor the memory of the 14-year-old young man who was lynched in MS in 1955. We think that's a disservice to those who were lynched in our history, who continue to have, we continue to have these problems.

"If you're gonna call something an anti-lynching bill, but you're gonna have a new conspiracy charge for someone who has minor bruising, we don't think that's appropriate". But they need to pass it again to get it signed into law. His interpretation of the bill is that it's too broad and could result in putting people in prison for up to 10 years for lesser offenses. "My amendment would simply apply a serious bodily injury standard, which would ensure crimes resulting in substantial risk of death and extreme physical pain be prosecuted as a lynching", Paul explained further in a statement from his office later Wednesday.

Paul's hold on the bill was first reported by National Journal.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer criticized Paul over the move on Wednesday, tweeting, "It is shameful that one GOP Senator is standing in the way of seeing this bill become law".

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The language of the House bill, which was named for Emmett Till, the 14-year-old murdered in MS in 1955, is very similar to another anti-lynching bill that passed the Senate last year by unanimous consent. It was authored by the only three African Americans now serving in the Senate, Republican Sen. Tim Scott of SC and Democratic Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) - and it passed unanimously.

Asked Wednesday what the status of the latest bill is, Paul said he is continuing to talk to its authors but said reporters should inquire with them as to where it stands. A McConnell aide did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But on Thursday, a disagreement over a stalled anti-lynching bill provoked an intense disagreement on the Senate floor.

The legislative effort to make lynching a federal hate crime punishable by up to life in prison comes 65 years after 14-year-old Emmett Till was lynched in MS, and follows dozens of failed attempts to pass anti-lynching legislation.

Over the last several decades, there have been almost 200 attempts in Congress to approve anti-lynching legislation.

The legislation states: "Only by coming to terms with history can the United States effectively champion human rights overseas".

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