Bachmann slams hate crimes act on 700 Club

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On Thursday, Rep. Michele Bachmann appeared on Pat Robertson’s 700 Club (one day after Robertson’s controversial comments about Haiti and Satan), and slammed the recently enacted Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act.

“We just saw the hate crimes law pass…really that bill is more about restricting free speech and free expression of American citizens, in contradistinction to the First Amendment that wants free speech and expression for all of Americans.”

Are hate crimes merely free expression and free speech? That seems to be Bachmann’s claim. There’s nothing in the law that prevents people from saying hateful things… they just cannot add violence to the hateful actions. Would Bachmann support a repeal of current hate crimes law that covers religion?