Feb 26, 2020 - Politics & Policy

House passes bill to make lynching a federal hate crime

Photo: Aaron P. Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images

The House voted 410-4 on Wednesday to pass legislation to designate lynching as a federal hate crime.

Why it matters: Congress has tried and failed for over 100 years to pass measures to make lynching a federal crime.

  • Independent Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.) and three Republicans — Reps. Thomas Massie (Ky.), Ted Yoho (Fla.) and Louie Gohmert (Texas) — voted against the bill.
  • Yoho told CNN's Manu Raju that the bill was "an overreach of the federal government" that tramples on states' rights.

Catch up quick: The Emmett Till Antilynching Act follows a version of the bill that passed unanimously in the Senate last year. President Trump is expected to sign the act into law, per the New York Times.

  • 4,075 African Americans were lynched in North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia between 1877 and 1950, according to the Equal Justice Initiative.

Go deeper: Lynching memorial forces America to reckon with its past

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