Is targeting people because of their political views considered a hate crime in some US jurisdictions?

Friday, September 11, 2020
By Christopher Hutton

The breadth of hate crime classifications varies from state to state, but some take political affiliations and viewpoints into account.

Federal laws, first passed in 1968, were expanded in 2009 to encompass all crimes committed because of the "actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person." Some state laws explicitly include bias towards political affiliation as a potential hate crime. Delaware's statute is less direct, encompassing offenses affecting the "victim's free exercise or enjoyment" of activities protected by the First Amendment.

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