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Last week legislation passed in the U.S. House of Representatives that made lynching a federal hate crime 410-4. Of the four votes against, one was by Michigan’s Independent Justin Amash. The three other votes were by Republicans Ted Yoho of Florida, Louie Gohmert of Texas and Thomas Massie of Kentucky who cited federal overreach as their reasoning for the votes.
“Creating federal crimes for matters that are normally handled by the state obscures which government — federal or state — is responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime, and it gives power to unelected federal officials whom voters can’t directly hold accountable,” Amash wrote in a tweet.
Known as the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, this bill was written after the 1955 racially motivated murder of then-teenaged Till.
“This legislation will not erase the stain of lynching and racist violence, but it will help shine the light of truth on the injustices of the past so that we can heal our nation and build a better, safer future for all of our children,” Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.
This bill was passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate.