One of the oldest legislative schemes of the left is to hide terrible statist laws behind mellifluous sounding names. There is no better example of this outrage than the Orwellian Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 1994, which is up for reauthorization before the Senate. Democrats want to expand the role of this already ill-conceived bill in a way that will subvert our judicial system and shred the Bill of Rights. Their tactic is working, as most Republicans will blithely let it pass the Senate – and possibly even the House. After all, who would want to go on record as supporting violence against women?
Under our criminal justice system, states and local governments are vested with the police power to deal with crimes committed against its residents. Those powers are just as robust, whether the crime has been committed against a man, a woman, and everything in between (except for the unborn, thanks to Roe v. Wade). In 1994, the Clinton Administration waded into the criminal justice system by imposing a federal prosecutorial and investigative regime to combat domestic violence. This new layer of government, housed in the Department of Justice, focused on redistributing judicial power to female victims and undermining equal protection, due process and the presumption of innocence for men – all to satisfy the cult of group victimhood. Moreover, the billions spent on sundry social programs have shown no success in reducing incidents of domestic violence, while precluding state and local governments from dealing with the problem as reflected by the reality in their areas of jurisdiction.
Now, in an attempt to reauthorize VAWA for the third time, Harry Reid is bringing S. 1925 to the floor later this afternoon. Like every social engineering statist law of the left, this one includes massive mission creep from the original intent. Here are some new previsions in S. 1925:
- The last reauthorization expanded the programs and protections to the elderly and children. This one would expand “coverage” to men, homosexuals, transgendered individuals and prisoners. After all, in a liberal marriage you have to have some way of identifying the husband and the wife. Nonetheless, this will force shelters for battered women to service …well, some other individuals as well.
- It expands the definition of domestic violence to include causing “emotional distress” or using “unpleasant speech.”
- It expands the law’s reach to give tribal Indian authorities jurisdiction over non-Indians accused of domestic violence within the borders of an Indian reservation.
- It would grant more visas to illegal immigrants who claim to be victims of domestic abuse.
In a sane world, this bill would only garner fringe support, yet it is cosponsored by 60 senators, including 8 Republicans – Ayotte, Brown, Collins, Crapo (the ringleader), Heller, Kirk, Murkowski, and Snowe. Even Republican opponents of the bill have already announced that they don’t plan to mount a filibuster, ostensibly ensuring that is passes the Senate. While there is strong opposition to many of the new provisions from most House Republicans, Boehner has already promised to support a clean extension of VAWA. And once again, the ACLU is nowhere to be found when it comes to true defense of civil liberties. There aren’t too many people in power who are willing to put the brakes on this train wreck.
Folks, this is not reflective of a truce on social issues; this is surrender on social issues.
The entire concept of criminal laws designed for specific groups or specific motivations, such as VAWA and hate crimes legislation, is an anathema to our constitutional beliefs. Under our constitutional framework, all suspects of any form of violence are afforded due process and a trial by jury. We (unlike liberals) believe that the violent offender, if found guilty, should be punished severely. Liberals can talk about a war on women, but it is they who have declared war on every law-abiding citizen with their moral relativist battle to water down our criminal justice system. There is no room for laws like VAWA in our constitutional republic, certainly not the current bill pending before the Senate.
Call your senators and find out if they plan to vote for this travesty. Call your member of Congress and request that they tell Boehner not to bring any VAWA reauthorization to the floor.
Cross-posted from The Madison Project