Legislators Propose Bad Hate Crimes Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 25, 2020

Little Rock – On Wednesday, Arkansas State Senator Jim Hendren (R) – Gravette and State Representative Nicole Clowney (D) – Fayetteville renewed calls for Arkansas to pass hate crimes legislation.

Family Council President Jerry Cox released a statement, saying, “No law has ever stopped hate, and no law ever will. It’s a matter of the heart. The experience of other states proves that hate crimes laws do not work. Over the past few years we’ve seen despicable crimes committed in states that have hate crimes laws. According to the FBI, the states with the most hate crimes all have hate crimes laws. It’s clear that hate crimes laws simply do not work. This hate crimes law does nothing to address issues like police brutality, no-knock warrants, racial profiling, and unequal justice. It does nothing to address the real issues that people are deeply concerned about. We all agree something needs to be done to address racism in our state, but passing a hate crimes law isn’t the answer.”

Cox said hate crimes laws promote unequal justice. “Laws like the one being proposed here in Arkansas treat crimes and their victims unequally. Targeting anyone and committing a crime is wrong and currently illegal. When hate crimes laws levy harsher penalties for targeting some people but not others, the punishments can differ even if the crimes are the same. The penalty for assault or murder should be the same no matter the victim’s race, religion, or sexual-orientation.”

Cox said Family Council will oppose any effort to pass hate crimes legislation in Arkansas. “We have opposed hate crimes laws every time they have been proposed at the Arkansas Legislature since the 1990s. This legislation was a bad idea 25 years ago, and it’s still a bad idea today.”

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Hate Crimes Legislation is Not the Answer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 17, 2019

On Tuesday Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson released a statement renewing calls for Arkansas to pass hate crimes legislation.

In response, Family Council President Jerry Cox released a statement, saying, “Hate crimes laws don’t work. New Jersey has a hate crimes law like the one the governor is proposing, but it didn’t stop anti-Semitic violence from happening in that state last week. The FBI tracks hate crimes committed nationwide. According to the FBI, the five states with the highest number of hate crimes in 2018 were Washington, New Jersey, New York, Texas, and Michigan. Every one of these states has a hate crimes law. Arkansas, on the other hand, has some of the fewest hate crimes of any state in America. Passing a hate crimes law isn’t going to do anything here.”

Cox said besides being ineffective, hate crimes laws give government the power to punish speech and beliefs. “Hate crimes laws give the government the power to punish thoughts as well as actions. When police investigate a possible hate crime, questions come up about what the suspect wrote or said. People ask questions about his religious beliefs or his friends and associates. These investigations stray into thought-policing and end up punishing criminals for what they believe in addition to what they did. Free countries don’t criminalize beliefs or thoughts.”

Cox said hate crimes laws promote unequal justice. “Hate crimes laws treat crimes and their victims unequally. Targeting anyone and committing a crime is wrong and currently illegal. When hate crimes laws levy harsher penalties for targeting some people but not others, the punishments can differ even if the crimes are the same. The penalty for murder or armed robbery should be the same no matter the victim’s race, religion, or sexual-orientation.”

Cox said Family Council will oppose any effort to pass hate crimes legislation in Arkansas. “We have opposed hate crimes laws every time they have been proposed at the Arkansas Legislature since the 1990s. This legislation was a bad idea 25 years ago, and it’s still a bad idea today.”

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Family Council Pleased With Nomination of Arkansas Attorney Lee Rudofsky to Federal Bench

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 1, 2019

On Monday, President Donald J. Trump nominated Lee Rudofsky to serve as a federal judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

Family Council President Jerry Cox released a statement saying, “We are very pleased with President Trump’s decision to nominate Lee Rudofsky. Mr. Rudofsky is highly qualified to serve as a federal judge. He is a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard Law School, and he has experience with constitutional law. As Solicitor General for the State of Arkansas, Mr. Rudofsky tirelessly defended state laws and policies in court—including policies that protect taxpayers from subsidizing abortionists like Planned Parenthood through Medicaid funding. While there were many other qualified candidates for the position, I am confident Mr. Rudofsky will do an excellent job serving on the federal bench, and I urge the United States Senate to confirm him.”

Family Council is a conservative education and research organization based in Little Rock.

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