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Arizona Lawmakers Proposes Bill Expanding Hate Crime Laws

An Arizona lawmaker said he wants to expand hate crime laws to include political beliefs and opinions after seeing a video of a man being beaten for his support of President-elect Donald Trump.

Currently, a judge can impose an enhanced penalty if a crime is committed against someone because of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.

Senator John Kavanagh said he wants to add “political affiliation, beliefs or opinion” to that list.

Kavanagh said he believes in the “just deserts school of sentencing.”

"It's a message from the legislature to give the judges some legislative basis, if they choose to, to stick with the existing sentencing structure but go to the harsher end," Kavanagh said.

The bill drew derision from the ACLU of Arizona. An attorney for the organization said the proposed bill is “very dangerous,” given the transient nature of political beliefs.