Wednesday - November 8, 2017 3:35 am

Alma's Vineout argues against amendment for crime victims' rights that passed Senate vote

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Senator says proposal riddled with conflicts to U.S. Constitution 

Despite concerns over federal conflicts, Wisconsin's Senate passed a proposed amendment to the state's constitution. It's an amendment meant to protect the rights of crime victims.

Functional concerns linger. The so-called Marsy's law would expand on crime victims' rights. It's a nice idea, says Alma state Senator Kathleen Vineout, but problematic.

"The way that it is written, it could conflict with the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution," she said from the floor of the state Senate on Tuesday.

Vineout said there may also be conflicts with the Fifth and and 14th Amendments in the nation's founding document. She also pointed out the amendment also appears to be a little redundant

"In our Constitution already are the rights of the victims of crime," she said.

None of that seems to be common knowledge among her fellow lawmakers, says Vinehout, since the Senate voted yes to the amendment.

"Certainly, if we're going to change the Constitution of the state of Wisconsin, we should all read and be familiar with what the Constitution of the state of Wisconsin says and, of course, what the Constitution of the United States says," Vineout said.

Both houses of the legislature still have to pass the amendment twice before sending it on to voters for ratification.

Last modified on Wednesday - November 8, 2017 3:49 am
Mitch Reynolds

Mitch Reynolds is the News Director at Midwest Family Broadcasting. He covers the internecine agonies of La Crosse city hall. He really likes basketball.

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