New York Governor Andrew Cuomo included the Child Victims Act in his budget this year and he failed. It was pulled from the final budget. He said he hopes it will succeed legislatively, and if that fails, he hopes to make it a campaign issue in November.

This is a victory for those who believe in justice, and a failure for those salivating at the thought of yet another lawsuit against the Catholic Church.

The “look-back” provision, the most controversial element of the bill, would allow victims to bring suit against offenders, no matter how long ago the alleged offense occurred. This kind of “roll-back-the-clock” idea of justice is fraught with problems: many of the accused, and witnesses, are dead, and the recollections of those still alive are not exactly reliable. That’s why we have a civil libertarian protection called the statute of limitations.

Moreover, many of the dioceses in New York already have an institutional mechanism to deal with real cases of abuse that took place in the past, making moot the “look-back” provision. In short, Cuomo and the professional victims’ lobby are guilty of moral grandstanding—it would not protect one young person.

Congratulations to those who stood for justice by defeating this sham of a bill. We are proud of our effort to tell the truth about the Child Victims Act (visit our website to read about it). All principled civil libertarians have reason to rejoice.

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