Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, introduced a bill this week to reauthorize the U.S. Civil Rights Commission for six more years.
"It's a simple bill. It simply extends the life of the current commission for six years. It makes no changes in the current law authorizing the commission," he said."I believe the commission should be left free to examine those issues it feels merit its consideration. We should reauthorize it as is, without imposing constraints on it and without tampering with the commission's independence."
Hatch, a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has guided numerous civil rights bills to passage in the Senate, 18 since he came to Congress in 1977.
They began with 1978 legislation that created a commission to investigate the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, and this year he had a bill limiting the time a person can be imprisoned for civil contempt in child custody cases.