Amicus Brief

United States v. Hill (U.S.C.A. 4th Circuit, 2018)

This case involves a challenge to the constitutionality of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HCPA) in a case in which an Amazon shipping warehouse employee was violently assaulted by a co-worker due to his perceived sexual orientation. The District Court vacated a unanimous jury conviction under the HCPA, on the grounds that the HCPA was an unconstitutional exercise of Congress’s Commerce Clause power as applied in this case. On appeal, ADL joined an amicus brief prepared by Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, in support of the government’s defense of the HCPA, along with the Matthew Shepard Foundation, FreeState Justice, Inc., the Trevor Project, the Public Justice Center, and the Japanese American Citizens League. Our brief argues that the prevention of hate crimes, particularly in the workplace, is a constitutional exercise of Congress’s Commerce Clause power, and that the defendant’s conviction under the HCPA was constitutional.