Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), a senior member and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee today praised the U.S. House of Representatives broad bipartisan approval of anti-lynching legislation yesterday. The bill is similar to bipartisan legislation that Grassley led through the Judiciary Committee in 2018, and which passed unanimously in the Senate last year.
“Nearly 200 anti-lynching bills were introduced in Congress in the first half of the 20th Century, but none have ever been signed into law. It’s far past time that we make clear that racially-motivated lynching is a crime, and such grotesque offenses will be met with the harshest of federal penalties. As chairman of the Judiciary Committee in 2018, I brought up and advanced bipartisan anti-lynching legislation, which was unanimously passed by the Senate in 2018 and again last year. I’m happy to see that the House of Representatives has now taken action. Congress should take the necessary steps to complete its work on this issue and get a bill to President Trump’s desk,” Grassley said.
The House of Representatives yesterday passed H.R. 35, the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, by a vote of 410-4. In 2018, the Senate passed S. 3178, the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act by voice vote after Grassley advanced it unanimously out of the Judiciary Committee. That legislation was reintroduced in 2019 as S. 488 and again passed in the Senate by voice vote. Each proposal amends the federal hate crime statute to include the offense of lynching.