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HR 61: Leading Against White Supremacy Act of 2023 – Dems New Plan to Destroy the Constitution

Rep Sheila Jackson Lee is sponsor

HR 61, the Leading Against White Supremacy Act of 2023, is sponsored by Rep Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX). Its main premise is to “prevent and prosecute hate speech inspired by white supremacists.” In so doing it would gut the First Amendment by making certain speech a federal crime. Though we have written about this recently introduced bill, this is a deeper dive into the ridiculous aspects of it:

Fron the Text of HR 61:

18 U.S.C. 249 would be amended to add specific definitions of “conspiracy.”
(b)  —A conspiracy to engage in white supremacy inspired hate crime shall be determined to exist— (1) between two or more persons engaged in the planning, development, preparation, or perpetration of a white supremacy inspired hate crime; or

A) at least one of whom engaged in the planning, development, preparation, or perpetration of a white supremacy inspired hate crime; and

(B) at least one of whom published material advancing white supremacy, white supremacist ideology, antagonism based on “replacement theory”, or hate speech that vilifies or is otherwise directed against any non-White person or group, and such published material—

(i) was published on a social media platform or by other means of publication with the likelihood that it would be viewed by persons who are predisposed to engaging in any action in furtherance of a white supremacy inspired hate crime, or who are susceptible to being encouraged to engage in actions in furtherance of a white supremacy inspired hate crime;

(ii) could, as determined by a reasonable person, motivate actions by a person predisposed to engaging in a white supremacy inspired hate crime or by a person who is susceptible to being encouraged to engage in actions relating to a white supremacy inspired hate crime; and

(iii) was read, heard, or viewed by a person who engaged in the planning, development, preparation, or perpetration of a white supremacy inspired hate crime.

The “reasonable person” statement is commonly used in legal issues. But this HR 61 amendment means that a person could be criminally charged EVEN IF THEY DON’T ACT on such “hate speech.” (New York Post) It’s extremely subjective to say that a person might be “predisposed” to act from a social media post. In today’s flashpoint world, targeting an innocent person could easily occur.

The bill says that a published message would satisfy the bill if it is posted on social media or in any other way that has a likelihood that it would be viewed by people who are “predisposed to engaging in any action in furtherance of a white supremacy inspired hate crime” or “susceptible to being encouraged to engage in actions in furtherance of a white supremacy inspired hate crime.” …

“How would a reasonable person discern a predisposition to engage in white supremacy?” Turley asked, likening it to Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s 1964 test for pornography, in which he said, “I know it when I see it,” rather than offer a clear definition….

“This is so flagrantly unconstitutional on so many levels from free speech to vagueness that it is actually impressive,” Turley said in his blog post, warning that while the bill is highly unlikely to pass, it is reminiscent of laws like those in the United Kingdom under which someone was arrested for silently praying near an abortion clinic and another was convicted and sentenced to four years for “toxic ideology” when he had weapons as well as SS and KKK memorabilia in his bedroom.

The very idea that a bill like this would be introduced in the first place, Turley stated, is evidence of an “erosion of free speech values” like what is happening in other parts of the world. Fox News– Jonathan Turley

There is no question that evil people exist and some of whom are prone to kill based on a twisted view of race. There are racists of every color, not just white. But punishing them should not be expanded to punishing everyone who happens upon a social media post. Hopefully, HR 61 will not pass the GOP controlled House of Representatives.

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Faye Higbee

Faye Higbee is the columnist manager for Uncle Sam's Misguided Children. She has been writing at Conservative Firing Line since 2013 as well. She is also a published author.

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