Nadler demands House hearings on Pittsburgh massacre
The House Judiciary Committee should hold emergency hearings in the wake of the shocking Tree of Life massacre, according to U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the panel’s top Democrat.
Nadler, whose congressional district includes parts of Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst and Manhattan, wrote a letter to U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, chairperson of the Judiciary Committee, on Oct. 29 demanding that emergency hearings be held to focus on hate crimes and domestic terrorism.
U.S. Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Texas Democrat, and Steve Cohen, a Tennessee Democrat, also signed the letter to Goodlatte.
Nadler, Jackson Lee and Cohen called the Tree of Life tragedy and the other recent incidents that have made national news a “groundswell of violence.”
In addition to the Tree of Life shooting in which 11 people were killed in the Pittsburgh synagogue, the letter references other recent incidents, including the explosive devices that were sent to CNN and Democratic public figures, and the slaying of two African-Americans in a supermarket in Jeffersontown, Ky.
“Each of these acts was carried out by an individual understood to espouse white supremacist views. Whether it manifests itself as racism or anti-Semitism or xenophobia, white supremacy is white supremacy. It must be stopped,” the letter reads in part.
The Judiciary Committee has an important role to play during this national crisis, according to Nadler and his fellow Democrats.
“The House Judiciary Committee is charged with confronting the causes of racial and religious violence, assessing the adequacy of federal hate crimes statutes, and protecting the civil liberties of all Americans. It also falls to our committee to address gun violence in all its forms. It is our responsibility to respond to this madness, and to do so without delay,” the lawmakers wrote.
Goodlatte’s office did not respond to requests for comment from this newspaper.
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