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house Bill H.R. 4354

Should Bill Cosby Lose His Presidential Medal of Freedom?

Argument in favor

Anyone who drugs and rapes multiple women should not hold the United States’ highest civilian honor. It is a disgrace to his victims and the country.

Stephen's Opinion
···
02/05/2016
Only if he is convicted. He's still innocent until proven guilty
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John's Opinion
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02/05/2016
Awards (like medals) can be withdrawn if it was found out later that the person did not earn it. To the extent that this medal was awarded on the basis of an error of judgment, it ought to be withdrawn.
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Alis's Opinion
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02/04/2016
I'm making an effort to not care. Given the number of men who participate in violence against women or who condone a level of violence against women, I suppose we would end up taking away most of the medals awarded to men if the criteria was the lived experience of the women they knew throughout their lives. My understanding of the situation is that men really don't care whether other men rape women--unless they themselves have laid claim to or feel some vague or not so vague sense of responsibility toward the woman in question. Women care. But women's opinions, like their bodies, are of little interest to most men. Unless they feel a sense of ownership, in which case, it has almost nothing to do with the woman or what happened to her & everything to do with the ego of the affronted man. So onward! forward! affronted men. Do whatever you need to do. I am unconvinced you give a flip about what happens to women unless your egos are involved. (Isn't that the point of the Planned Parenthood fuss? You don't care about women's health or about babies. What you do care about is power & control. Anything that challenges your control, like women being smart enough to know they've been raped or that they do not want to have a baby or that cancer is a problem, is such an affront that after you drop the jockeys, get out the tape measure--or is it yardstick?--and pee on the wall, it becomes important to tell women NO, YOU CAN'T!)
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Argument opposed

Bill Cosby was awarded the Medal of Freedom for his cultural achievements, not his morality. Revoking this honor would set a bad precedent.

Laredo's Opinion
···
02/05/2016
He was found innocent and his case was dismissed, this is old news. Is this ridiculous waste of time of a bill still on the docket ? I can't believe our politicians would waste public resources on a celebrity scandal before the real issues that are pressing in our country. Bill cosbys personal life is not this important. This bill is useless and non-sequitur , given the nation's political climate. Whoever drafted this should have a concerned foot kicked up their ass.
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Mickb's Opinion
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02/05/2016
We shouldnt be singling out one man. Not to mention our Constitution says innocent until proven guilty and while it seems congress and th3 court of public opinion have settl3d this a jury of 12 peers has not. This law is a waste of taxpayer resources. How bout instead a law saying if you get a medal of freedom and are later convictes of a felony you lose it. That is more sensical
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Cdux's Opinion
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02/05/2016
He was not found guilty by any US court so you would strip him based off of here say. Mind you I'm not saying that he didn't rape all of those women but as he was not found guilty in court it would be inappropriate to revoke a medal based off of salacious journalism.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Oversight and Reform
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
    IntroducedJanuary 8th, 2016

What is House Bill H.R. 4354?

This bill would affirm the President Obama's authority to revoke Bill Cosby’s Presidential Medal of Freedom (and urge him to do so). The Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor, is awarded to honor contributions of:

  • security or national interests of the United States;

  • world peace;

  • cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

Bill Cosby received the medal from George W. Bush in 2002 for achievements including: 

“revolutioniz[ing] the portrayal of African Americans on television.”

In 2015, over 50 women accused Cosby of drugging and/or sexually assaulting them. That July, the Daily News reported

“Bill Cosby admitted under oath that he bought Quaaludes to dope the women he wanted to grope—and slipped the sedative to at least one lady.”

In December, prosecutors in Pennsylvania charged him with a 2004 sexual assault.

According to the bill, “Cosby has admitted to drugging women with the intention to satisfy his sexual desires, and, therefore, the Federal Government should not recognize Cosby with an honor like the Presidential Medal of Freedom.”

In addition, the legislation would make it illegal for anyone has had their Presidential Medal of Freedom revoked to wear it or put it on public display. Punishment would be a fine or imprisonment.

Impact

Bill Cosby, his detractors and fans, other recipients of the Medal, and Congress.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4354

$0.00
This bill should not have any conceivable costs.

More Information

In Depth: When asked in July if he planned to revoke Cosby’s medal, President Obama said: 

“any civilized country should have no tolerance for rape, [but] there is no precedent for revoking a medal. We don’t have that mechanism.” 

Sponsoring Rep. Paul Gosar’s (R-AZ) bill aims to affirm that Medal revocation is within the president’s rights. In January, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told ABC that if Congress passes the legislation, Obama will “take a look.”


Of Note: This wouldn’t be the first honor to be revoked in light of Cosby’s assault allegations. In Dec 2014, the US Navy stripped him of his status as honorary chief petty officer. Other institutions that have cut ties with the actor include Spelman College, New York University, NBC, TV Land, Brown University, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.


Media:

Summary by Katie Rose Quandt

(Photo Credit: Flickr user Steve Rainwater)

Official Title

To affirm the power of the President to revoke the Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded to Bill Cosby and to provide for criminal penalties for anyone who wears or publicly displays a Presidential Medal of Freedom that has been revoked.

    Only if he is convicted. He's still innocent until proven guilty
    Like (75)
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    He was found innocent and his case was dismissed, this is old news. Is this ridiculous waste of time of a bill still on the docket ? I can't believe our politicians would waste public resources on a celebrity scandal before the real issues that are pressing in our country. Bill cosbys personal life is not this important. This bill is useless and non-sequitur , given the nation's political climate. Whoever drafted this should have a concerned foot kicked up their ass.
    Like (30)
    Follow
    Share
    Awards (like medals) can be withdrawn if it was found out later that the person did not earn it. To the extent that this medal was awarded on the basis of an error of judgment, it ought to be withdrawn.
    Like (19)
    Follow
    Share
    I'm making an effort to not care. Given the number of men who participate in violence against women or who condone a level of violence against women, I suppose we would end up taking away most of the medals awarded to men if the criteria was the lived experience of the women they knew throughout their lives. My understanding of the situation is that men really don't care whether other men rape women--unless they themselves have laid claim to or feel some vague or not so vague sense of responsibility toward the woman in question. Women care. But women's opinions, like their bodies, are of little interest to most men. Unless they feel a sense of ownership, in which case, it has almost nothing to do with the woman or what happened to her & everything to do with the ego of the affronted man. So onward! forward! affronted men. Do whatever you need to do. I am unconvinced you give a flip about what happens to women unless your egos are involved. (Isn't that the point of the Planned Parenthood fuss? You don't care about women's health or about babies. What you do care about is power & control. Anything that challenges your control, like women being smart enough to know they've been raped or that they do not want to have a baby or that cancer is a problem, is such an affront that after you drop the jockeys, get out the tape measure--or is it yardstick?--and pee on the wall, it becomes important to tell women NO, YOU CAN'T!)
    Like (14)
    Follow
    Share
    We shouldnt be singling out one man. Not to mention our Constitution says innocent until proven guilty and while it seems congress and th3 court of public opinion have settl3d this a jury of 12 peers has not. This law is a waste of taxpayer resources. How bout instead a law saying if you get a medal of freedom and are later convictes of a felony you lose it. That is more sensical
    Like (14)
    Follow
    Share
    He was not found guilty by any US court so you would strip him based off of here say. Mind you I'm not saying that he didn't rape all of those women but as he was not found guilty in court it would be inappropriate to revoke a medal based off of salacious journalism.
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    If you put yourself in a position of power, you have certain responsibilities. One of them is not to rape women.
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    Yes he should!! He held himself up as an an example to be followed publicly and privately. That he didn't live it the way he spoke it in all aspects of his life was a choice. With choices come consequences. The women he drugged didn't have the freedom to say no! So, absolutely take it from him. However aren't there more pressing concerns for congress to be addressing besides one lecherous old man!
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    Just because a couple of people say something doesn't mean it's true. Wait till the verdict on the case.
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    I vote no as a protest to this gigantic waste of legislative time on such feel good tripe. Following this political/ liberal logic one would have to support similar actions against Bill Clinton. Surprisingly even though comparisons are made between the two men, nothing is suggested for Mr Clinton. So we stand an excellent chance of having both a sexual predator AND a liar/ grifter in the White House.
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    He should only lose the medal if he is actually guilty in court for a case, so right now it's not probable to revoke his medal status.
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    He drugged women, to have sex with them. Just let that sink in for a moment. Not only did he drug someone into unconsciousness, he then used that person for many many unknown perverted things. How would you feel if it was your mother, daughter, even your grandmother he did that to? If I was in charge he would have his pecker cut off, then have all his rights taken away from him, and have all his money go to help fund women's shelters and rape crisis centers. But then, that's just me.
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    Denying his guilt for so long, he is not someone who should be honored.
    Like (3)
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    He's a disgusting excuse for a human being & does not deserve any kind of award for anything.
    Like (3)
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    No one could actually build a case on him. All charges were dismissed. Let it go... There are too many other important issues that need to be addressed.
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    Personally, I don't care about the medal. What I hope this brings to light is that predators are evil and that their victims should be given the protections to feel safe so they can bring these atrocities to light and the predators be brought to justice. Cosby and Bill Clinton are both predators and abusers. And those that helped cover their crimes should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
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    He has undermined the meaning of granting such an honor.
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    Until he is proven guilty nothing should happen.
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    He's despicable. But not convicted of anything yet. Let's revisit this after he gets convicted.. Innocent until proven guilty has to be respected.
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    Just because he played a nice man on tv does not excuse what he admitted to doing to those women
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