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Missouri Senator Hawley Says He Voted Against Hate Crimes Legislation Because of Language about Speech; He Describes Himself as Free Speech Absolutist

FILE - IN this Jan 15, 2019 file photo, Senate Judiciary Committee committee member Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., questions Attorney General nominee William Barr during a Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Hawley is facing conservative backlash after raising concerns with President Donald Trump's nominee to a high-profile appeals court. The Judicial Crisis Network on Monday announced plans to spend $500,000 on Missouri ads to sway Hawley to support D.C.-area U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Neomi Rao. Hawley on Monday told KFTK 97.1 FM Newstalk's Marc Cox that Rao doesn't have a strong record on abortion. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Missouri’s junior senator says he voted against hate crimes legislation because of his concerns about the bill’s language about speech. Senator Josh Hawley tells Missourinet that Great Britain has similar speech laws:

Senator Hawley says that as a First Amendment lawyer, he is a free speech absolutist. The Senate approved the bill in April, by a 94-1 vote. Senator Hawley cast the no vote. Bill supporters say the legislation is needed to address the increase in anti-Asian hate crimes during the pandemic.

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