Hate Crimes

The Federal Docket

DOJ Announces New Policy Targeting Potential Hate Crimes and Hate Incidents

On May 20, 2022, the one-year anniversary of the enactment of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, the Department of Justice announced several new initiatives for investigating and prosecuting alleged hate crimes. The DOJ’s pess release also lists specific actions that the DOJ has taken “in response to a rise in hate crimes and hate incidents,” including creating and filling several new positions dedicated to pursuing hate crime investigations and prosecutions, adding new types of hate crimes, increasing prosecutions for hate crimes, and increasing funding for programs to investigate and prosecute such crimes at the state and local level.

United States v. James William Hill III. (4th Cir. June 2019)

Noting that this was an issue of first impression in this Circuit and any other, the Court held that the defendant “substantially affected” interstate commerce by assaulting the victim and interfering with the victim’s packaging and shipping of products intended for interstate commerce. The Court cited the low standard for invoking jurisdiction under the Commerce Clause, which applies to violent conduct that has even a “minimal effect” on interstate commerce.

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