That’s what passage of the federal hate crimes bill will give the federal government, say its critics.

We wrote earlier about how backers of the federal hate-crimes bill want to use it to reprosecute people who have already been found innocent, and to prosecute people whom state prosecutors decline to charge because the evidence against them is so weak. Supporters of the bill have given only lame rationalizations for why state not-guilty verdicts should not be respected. (Some of the bill’s supporters have even made the strange claim that the defendants in the Duke Lacrosse case, whom the North Carolina attorney general later admitted were actually innocent, should have been reprosecuted in federal court).

Such reprosecutions fall within a loophole in Constitutional protections against double jeopardy known as the “dual sovereignty” doctrine. But ironically, they violate Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights — a treaty that many of the bill’s backers harp on to push liberal causes, such as restrictions on the death penalty and antiterrorism measures. Article 14’s ban on double jeopardy has no “dual sovereignty” loophole, unlike the U.S. Constitution. That is an additional reason to be skeptical of the hate-crimes bill, which is known as the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 (LLEHCPA, H.R. 1913).

The bill, which was passed by the House Judiciary Committee, vastly expands federal hate crime law.  It adds “gender, sexual orientation, and transgender characteristics to a law originally designed to protect racial minorities. It also greatly expands the law’s reach over local offenses typically handled by state prosecutors, by eliminating many jurisdictional limits.”

So un-American, but so multicultural.  It’s a kick in the head to the concept of equal justice for the individual under the law, and a big boost for the concept of protected groups whose rights trump those of any given individual.  How does a certain document go?  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Its says nothing about some people’s rights being more inalienable than others just because of physical characteristics or ethnicity or political clout.

Time to start withdrawing our consent to this federal power grab.  The state sovereignty movement and the tea party movement are good starts.

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