Looks like Ted Cruz and Kamala Harris actually agree on something. In a time where political bipartisanship is ever so rare, Sen. Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Harris (D-Calif.) have co-sponsored a bill to release information that will help law enforcement solve cold cases that are decades old, stemming from the Civil Rights era in the 1960s. The bill, called the Civil Rights Cold Case Records Collection Act of 2018, was introduced by Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) in July.
On Wednesday, Jones and Cruz published a joint op-ed in the Dallas News pushing the legislation. “The civil rights movement gave millions of people a new share in the American Dream. Tragically, many violent crimes committed against black families struggling for equality during this time remain unsolved,” they wrote.
The idea is for case information to be made public so that any potential witnesses or people with information will be encouraged to come forward and hold past perpetrators who had gotten away with the crimes responsible for their actions. The senators argue that time is of the essence because victims and witnesses are getting old and their memories are fading.
The two senators went as far as to suggest that corrupt officials intentionally buried evidence: “[I]n many cases, witnesses were intimidated into silence and evidence was intentionally brushed under the rug by corrupt officials. Victims and their families were often afraid to pursue justice against their attackers. And despite the best efforts of law enforcement in many cases, they did not have access to modern forensic methods, and trails went cold.”
The proposed legislation should be passed overwhelmingly with bipartisan approval. The bill is also a well-calculated political move for both senators, with Cruz seeking re-election in November and Jones up for re-election in 2020. Nonetheless, if it encourages bipartisanship on a policy both parties agree on, this should not matter.