Commentary by Kay B. Day
Congress passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act by including it in the National Defense Authorization Act/2010. At the time Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said, “It is indeed unfortunate that we are using the brave men and women in uniform as leverage to pass hate crimes legislation.”
Months before President Barack Obama signed the Act, as the legislation bounced around Congress, I remarked that language in the Act appeared to be unconstitutional. The Thomas More Law Center appears to agree, having filed a federal lawsuit against Att. Gen. Eric H. Holder to challenge the constitutionality of the Hate Crimes Act.