Rand Paul Admits Holding Up Anti-Lynching Bill, Cites Fears Over Its Application
According to The Washington Post, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) acknowledged that he is holding up a bipartisan bill that would make lynching a federal hate crime, citing fears that it would be wrongly applied in certain situations.
Paul said he is concerned that the bill “could allow enhanced penalties for altercations that result in only ‘minor bruising,’” The Post reported.
The senator told reporters that “We think that lynching is an awful thing that should be roundly condemned, that should be universally condemned,” but added that the bill might “conflate lesser crimes with lynching.”
He said this would do a “disservice to those who were lynched in our history” and lead to “a new 10-year penalty for people who have minor bruising.”
“We don’t think that’s appropriate, and someone has to read these bills and make sure they do what they say they’re going to do rather than it be just a big PR effort, and then everybody gets up in arms and wants to beat up anybody who wants to read the bill, and actually make the bill strong,” he said.
- The senator’s opposition has “halted a measure that appeared on the verge of getting to the president’s desk earlier this year after more than a century of stymied attempts by Congress to pass anti-lynching legislation.”
The Post reported that “Paul’s office did not immediately respond to a request for elaboration on how the bill could apply to altercations that result in ‘minor bruising.’”