Democrat introduces legislation to make “conspiracy to commit white supremacy” or anything that defames “non-whites” a criminal hate crime
- Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas introduced her bill last week
- The Leading Against White Supremacy Act of 2023 sparked an angry reaction
- Rep. Lauren Boebert accused her of “mockerying the First Amendment.”
Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee is introducing a bill aimed at combating “white supremacy” by criminalizing certain forms of hate speech.
The Texas Democrat’s Leading Against White Supremacy Act of 2023 would allow someone who shares white supremacist online to be prosecuted for hate crimes even if they don’t respond to their threats.
This has sparked an outburst from conservatives who have accused them of attacking the First Amendment.
“If you didn’t know what the Democrats were prioritizing in the 118th Congress, just take a look,” far-right Rep. Lauren Boebert tweeted, linking to an article that claimed he was criminalizing criticism of nonwhite people.
“When they’re not bankrupting our country, they’re busy making fun of the First Amendment.”
Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee has sparked controversy with her Leading Against White Supremacy Act of 2023, which expands the criminalization of certain forms of hate speech
Jackson Lee introduced her bill at the start of the 118th Congress last week. Since Republicans control the House of Representatives, it has no chance of ever becoming law
Jackson Lee quickly hit back, suggesting it was time Boebert read some of the bills she tweeted about.
“Or maybe even hire someone who could help you. This tweet is inflammatory and factual and you know it,” she wrote in one thread.
“For starters, it took me about 32 seconds to read the article you quoted to understand that none of you know what you are talking about.
“HR 61 is simply about adding white supremacy to a list of grounds for hate crime convictions.”
According to their draft law, “A person commits a white supremacist-inspired hate crime when white supremacist ideology motivated the planning, development, preparation, or performance of acts that constitute a crime or were undertaken in furtherance of activities that ‘if they were executed, doing so would constitute a crime.’
Conservatives, including hardline Republican Lauren Boebert, attacked the bill
George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley said the bill would “exempt the First Amendment.”
And a conspiracy exists when a person has published material promoting white supremacy and it “has been read, heard, or viewed by any person who inspired the planning, development, preparation, or inauguration of any white supremacy… involved in hate crimes”.
According to Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, such a move would nullify the First Amendment
“Even in today’s anti-free speech environment in Congress, a recent proposal proposed by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D., Tx.) is a menacing standout…” he tweeted.
“The bill is an almost impenetrable jumble of convoluted terms. What is clear (perhaps the only clear thing) is that the Leading Against White Supremacy Act of 2023 would undermine the First Amendment and create effective thought crimes.
However, with Republicans now controlling the House of Representatives, their bill has little chance of ever becoming law.