House votes to ban profiling on highways

The House late Monday gave voice vote approval to a proposal from Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) to prevent law enforcement from racial profiling when arresting people on highways.

Norton's amendment to the 2015 appropriations bill funding the departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development would deny federal transportation funding to states that profile based on physical characteristics, such as race. The District of Columbia's nonvoting representative in Congress, who can offer amendments but not actually vote on them, said the measure would limit unconstitutional arrests or investigations.

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"Considering our country's history and increasing diversity, we are late in barring profiling at the national level," Norton said. "At the very least, federal taxpayers should not be compelled to subsidize the unconstitutional practice of profiling."

Norton said the issue of racial profiling affects a wide range of minorities in the U.S.

"Not only blacks and Hispanics are affected, but many others in this country are affected as well due to the increasing diversity in our society," Norton said.

Norton's amendment encountered no opposition on the House floor. She began speaking about her amendment at 9:47 p.m., and it was adopted two minutes later.