19. S. 1722 -- BASTARD SON OF S. 1
Since 1966, the Senate has been attempting to revise the Federal Criminal
Code, beginning with the Nixon/Mitchell S. 1, which was defeated among
public outcries of "police state." But the attempt to revise
the code has persisted and with amendment and modification descended
in 1980 as S. 1722, cosponsored by an unlikely pair -- Sen. Edward M.
Kennedy and Sen. Strom Thurmond.
This bill, which attempts to redraft and update some 3,000 existing
laws, has been termed repressive, inaccurate, and sloppily written ...
and yet has received little media coverage.
S. 1722 increases the number and kinds of Federal offenses, including
restrictions of peaceable assembly, freedom of the press, expanded federal
intervention in labor disputes, a determinant sentencing system, and
a variety of judicial procedures including wiretapping and the power
of a federal judge to deny bail and incarcerate an individual prior
Critics fear that the legislation will have a devastating impact on
the civil liberties of all Americans, no matter what their political
orientation may be. It contains bad news for conservatives and liberals,
for businessmen and labor unions ... and few Americans even know about
Nation's Business warned its readers "Some sections of (S. 1722)
give government regulators more clout; other sections create vaguely
defined new 'crimes' that could be used to harass business managers."
And Sen. James McClure (R-Idaho) said "broad interpretation of
this bill would put large numbers of businessmen in jail."
Another Mother For Peace said "The most frightening part ... is
the secrecy with which Senate Bill 1722 was skillfully manipulated WITH
NO PRESS COVERAGE ..." while Spokeswoman warned it provided "
... increased opportunities for government prosecutors and investigators
to interfere with political activities which are protected by the First
Ironically, should S. 1722 pass it would take effect in the first month
The failure of the media to widely publicize this extraordinary piece
of legislation which will affect every American qualifies this story
for nomination as one of the "best censored" stories of 1980.
Nation's Business, July 1980, "Washington Letter;" National
Committee Against Repressive Legislation, 510 C St., N.E., Washington,
D.C. 20002, 1980 brochure.