UPDATE: Hate crimes bill passes Senate, heads to POTUS

by on October 22, 2009  •  In Congress, Criminal law

The final Senate vote on the hate crimes bill is expected to occur this afternoon. The hate crimes language is a provision of the Department of Defense Authorization Conference Report. A cloture petition was filed last night, and the vote on cloture will be this morning. It is likely that debate on the bill will follow the cloture vote, and the final Senate vote on adoption of the Report will occur in the afternoon.

UPDATE: The Senate passed the bill late this afternoon, including the hate crimes provision, by a vote of 68 to 29.  It now goes to the White House for the President's signature.  It is the first federal law to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

According to HRC's summary:

Under the legislation, federal prosecutors could step in to try violent
hate-crime cases if local authorities cannot or will not secure an
appropriate conviction. It also opens up federal funding for law enforcement
to handle the typically high cost of investigation and judicial proceedings
in such cases, and would make grants available for training and prevention
programs at the local level.


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