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house Bill H.R. 5578

Do Sexual Assault Survivors Need a Bill of Rights?

Argument in favor

Sexual assault survivors need rights in federal criminal cases as state laws on the subject can vary, and this bill would ensure they feel protected when interacting with the criminal justice system.

kounoko's Opinion
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09/06/2016
this isn't a states rights issue. this is a human rights issue. the states have had literal centuries to come up with laws that protect sexual assault victims and only some of them have done so. it's 2017 and women still feel that the justice system fails them when they are assaulted because it does. the federal government needs to step in and set a standard for the entire country. if this isn't a job for the federal government then where exactly is the line drawn? the role of the feds is to come in and help when the issue at hand is too big for any individual state. that's what we pay them for. is this not one of those issues or is the fact that 3 out of 4 women will be sexually assaulted in their life not enough for some people? the fallacy of the people who say that this is not in congress' jurisdiction, is that historically the federal government has had to come in and say that things need to change. for instance, Miranda rights. prior to Miranda rights anyone who was arrested was unprotected and could be misled to self-incriminate by corrupt cops or judges. nowadays those arrested have rights to not become the victim to an unjust legal system thanks to action by the supreme court (aka federal government). the same logic would apply to victims of sexual assault. they would then have rights given by a federal/national standard to help protect them from becoming lost to the system. to those who think that this isn't in the federal government's jurisdiction, you are putting the rights of "the state" above the rights of anyone who might be sexually abused now or in the future. the only time your argument is valid is when the feds want to impose an oppressive law. in this case you are literally refusing help based on principle.
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Saige's Opinion
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09/06/2016
If something doesn't change on a federal level we're just going to have more cases like Turner's
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SouthernGal's Opinion
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09/06/2016
Some will say that this should be up to the states to do, but the states have had 240 years to do this. I don't think the Feds are being hasty in proposing this for sexual assault victims.
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Argument opposed

It would be better for states to individually adopt these policies for sexual assault survivors rather than have the federal government intervene and establish them.

TuckerWantsLiberty's Opinion
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09/06/2016
Of course they need basic rights protected and I probably actually agree with most of the things in this legislation - except that constitutionally this should be a states issue, not a federal one. Show me where in the Constitution this is given to Congress. It doesn't matter if the states have had centuries but haven't figured it out - the states may have fallen behind on this but it's still their responsibility, not the federal government's. There isn't a clause in the Constitution saying that it's up to the states unless they can't figure it out in the next 240 years and then it becomes federal jurisdiction. Timing is irrelevant. There's no expiration date on the Tenth Amendment! This is not for Congress to debate. It doesn't fall under their jurisdiction. I would probably support this as a state measure, though.
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Constitutionman's Opinion
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09/06/2016
While definitely an issue, rights are protected from the bottom up, not the other way around. Individuals are responsible for retaining all rights that they can, the states preserve the ones that the individual cannot, and finally the federal government defends the people when the states are not able to. The federal government acting on this issue upsets the hierarchy of rights and is out of their jurisdiction of power. That being said, there is no doubt that measures such as these should be taken by the state governments.
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David's Opinion
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09/06/2016
It's not a federal issue and if you give it to them they will screw it up some how. If people don't think enough is being done at state level then start pressuring YOUR legislatures.
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    this isn't a states rights issue. this is a human rights issue. the states have had literal centuries to come up with laws that protect sexual assault victims and only some of them have done so. it's 2017 and women still feel that the justice system fails them when they are assaulted because it does. the federal government needs to step in and set a standard for the entire country. if this isn't a job for the federal government then where exactly is the line drawn? the role of the feds is to come in and help when the issue at hand is too big for any individual state. that's what we pay them for. is this not one of those issues or is the fact that 3 out of 4 women will be sexually assaulted in their life not enough for some people? the fallacy of the people who say that this is not in congress' jurisdiction, is that historically the federal government has had to come in and say that things need to change. for instance, Miranda rights. prior to Miranda rights anyone who was arrested was unprotected and could be misled to self-incriminate by corrupt cops or judges. nowadays those arrested have rights to not become the victim to an unjust legal system thanks to action by the supreme court (aka federal government). the same logic would apply to victims of sexual assault. they would then have rights given by a federal/national standard to help protect them from becoming lost to the system. to those who think that this isn't in the federal government's jurisdiction, you are putting the rights of "the state" above the rights of anyone who might be sexually abused now or in the future. the only time your argument is valid is when the feds want to impose an oppressive law. in this case you are literally refusing help based on principle.
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    Of course they need basic rights protected and I probably actually agree with most of the things in this legislation - except that constitutionally this should be a states issue, not a federal one. Show me where in the Constitution this is given to Congress. It doesn't matter if the states have had centuries but haven't figured it out - the states may have fallen behind on this but it's still their responsibility, not the federal government's. There isn't a clause in the Constitution saying that it's up to the states unless they can't figure it out in the next 240 years and then it becomes federal jurisdiction. Timing is irrelevant. There's no expiration date on the Tenth Amendment! This is not for Congress to debate. It doesn't fall under their jurisdiction. I would probably support this as a state measure, though.
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    If something doesn't change on a federal level we're just going to have more cases like Turner's
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    Some will say that this should be up to the states to do, but the states have had 240 years to do this. I don't think the Feds are being hasty in proposing this for sexual assault victims.
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    While definitely an issue, rights are protected from the bottom up, not the other way around. Individuals are responsible for retaining all rights that they can, the states preserve the ones that the individual cannot, and finally the federal government defends the people when the states are not able to. The federal government acting on this issue upsets the hierarchy of rights and is out of their jurisdiction of power. That being said, there is no doubt that measures such as these should be taken by the state governments.
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    It's not a federal issue and if you give it to them they will screw it up some how. If people don't think enough is being done at state level then start pressuring YOUR legislatures.
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    This is a tough subject, mostly because it's one we shouldn't have to talk about. We shouldn't have to wonder if victims of sexual violence are going to be shamed by their communities and trapped in their insecurities. We shouldn't have to wonder if they'll get their day in court, or that when they do whether or not a convicted assailant will be rightly sentenced or get off because it'll "ruin their reputation". But before we ever get to that point, victims shouldn't be afraid of stigma or shame when needing to report a sexual assault. The truth is, though states should be responsible enough to come together to draft a standard bill of rights for sexual assault victims - but the states are too interested in myriad other things to do something so important and profound. This is one time I can say, even as a right-leaning libertarian, the federal government has both the means and responsibility to draft meaningful legislation to protect and provide for sexual assault victims.
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    While I agree with the content of the bill, I have a substantial issue with calling this a "bill of rights"; such rights come thru the legislative process, as with any other laws, and the use of such a name belittles the original Bill of Rights which took a relatively radical position of saying, "There are limits to what power a government may have," and insults the People benefiting from such a law by implying the only reason They were assaulted is because of government overreach and not the actions of specific Individuals. Enact the provisions if at all practical but do not call it a "bill of rights".
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    Victims of crime need rights over evidence to ensure they are properly preserved for legal action.
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    No, this should be handled by the states.
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    NO! None of the federal government's business!!!!
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    If a woman becomes pregnant as result of an assault She , and She alone must be allowed to choose if if the pregnancy by continue or aborted. This is that woman’s decision and NOT a political or “Moral” football for some third party group force a decision.
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    Sexual Assault is not a crime that can happen on a federal level unless in the Armed forces or during maritime trade. It must be left to the states regardless becasue of Amendment 10.
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    This is a States' issue. Stop overstepping Fed boundaries!
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    Probably a State issue rather than federal.
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    They already have a bill of rights.
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    Why not just process the tests. Just another example of how police don't give a crap about citizens. They only care about busting people for drugs and stealing their money and property. Often also stealing the drugs.
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    There already is a bill of rights. And if you don't think that your state can handle this, then how do you think the Feds will? They're even further removed from us than the states are.
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    While I do believe that the states should hold the decision making on many issues/laws, I feel that there are some policies/laws that should be consistent across the states. This is one of them. Any state would be hard pressed to offer an acceptable explanation in opposition to what is being proposed in this particular bill.
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    Where do you stand? 1. There is little left of the separation of powers. All three branches of government seem, for the most part, to have the same goals, the end of which is Communist globalization. There are VERY FEW true Constitutional Conservatives left fighting to uphold the Constitution and our national sovereignty! 2. Most of Congress is just paying lip service to the Constitution, as does the Obama Administration. 4. States' rights are being stripped right and left; too much power is being centralized in the federal government! 5. This bill is covering an issue that is rightly within the states' purview, yet the House just passed it unanimously! 7 hours ago THE HOUSE PASSED Roll Call Vote 399 Yea , 0 Nay https://www.countable.us/bills/hr5578-114
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