Senate Brings Back Anti-Lynching Bill, Sending It to House

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 27: Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., listen as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Brett M. Kavanaugh to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, focusing on allegations of sexual assault by Kavanaugh against Christine Blasey Ford in the early 1980s. (Tom Williams/Pool Photo via AP)

The Senate has unanimously passed legislation that designates lynching as a federal crime.

The anti-lynching legislation’s chief Democratic backers, Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California, are both seeking their party’s presidential nomination in 2020. The Senate passed the bill in December, but the House did not act in time to send the measure to President Donald Trump’s desk. This year, the Democratic-controlled House is more likely to advance the legislation with more time left in the congressional session.

Sponsors of the bill, also backed by GOP Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, have tallied nearly 200 past failed attempts to approve anti-lynching legislation over the past several decades.