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Why did Roberts single out the Violence Against Women Act?

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Weird -- and possibly disturbing -- coincidence.

Tonight, Bush nominates Roberts who apparently has a disdain for federal laws, prefering state laws instead. But in a radio interview, AP reports that he singled out the Violence Against Women Act as one example of a place where the federal government need not be involved:

Roberts also has made the case that some problems simply should be left to the states. In a 1999 radio interview, he said, "We have gotten to the point these days where we think the only way we can show we're serious about a problem is if we pass a federal law, whether it is the Violence Against Women Act or anything else. The fact of the matter is conditions are different in different states, and state laws can be more relevant."
Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings on reauthorizing the "Violence Against Women Act" which expires on September 30, 2005:
Actress Salma Hayek and advocates from organizations fighting domestic violence testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday to push the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which expires every five years.

The act, a measure that improves responses to domestic and dating violence, as well as stalking and sexual assault, will end Sept. 30 unless it is reauthorized.

"This is not a Democratic or Republican bill," said Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., who authored the act when it first passed in 1994. "This is about men and women who have been abused."

According to the American Bar Association, 4 million women encounter domestic violence every year....Lynn Rosenthal, president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, said the act not only needs to be reauthorized, but provisions must also be made to the bill to increase its success. The law under consideration in Congress would allow victims up to 10 days a year of unpaid leave to take steps to better their situations, such as seeking medical and legal help or moving.

Ninety-two percent of homeless women have been victims of abuse at some time in their lives, Rosenthal said.

She also suggested adding programs that would address the needs of vulnerable populations, such as American Indian women, who experience domestic abuse at twice the rate of other ethnicities.
Maybe Roberts should have gone to the hearing today. He might have learned why that law IS important.

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