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  • Overcriminalization Interrupted: Senate Passes House Version of Stock Act

    “Hallelujah” overstates the point, but we are pleased that the Senate on Thursday accepted the revisions to the STOCK Act made by the House of Representatives.

    As Heritage explained in two earlier Issue Briefs on this subject, the additional public corruption provisions that the Senate initially wanted to include in the bill gave rise to a batch of different potential overcriminalization issues. Some of them were definitional problems that, perhaps, could have been remedied by redrafting the bill.

    If Congress is going to outlaw conduct and send people to prison when they commit it, it is incumbent on Congress itself to spell out precisely what is verboten. Otherwise, the courts would have been left with that job, which is not the way to run a railroad.

    But some of the issues raised by the Senate version of this legislation went to the heart of two competing visions of the proper relationship between the federal and state governments. Reasonable people can disagree in good faith over the proper scope of each one – they have, in fact, since Gibbons v. Ogden was decided in 1824, if not beforehand – and they will continue to disagree over that issue as time goes by.

    Nothing in the version of the bill headed to the President keeps Congress from revisiting this subject later this year or in the sweet by-and-by.  If that were to happen, we hope that issues such as these receive the debate that they deserve. For now at least, the debate is over.


    Posted in Legal [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to Overcriminalization Interrupted: Senate Passes House Version of Stock Act

    1. Bobbie says:

      For next time, behavior/conduct isn't the business or bother for Barack? CIVIL law enforced protects people from those whose behavior is civilly unaccepting, unacceptable and unaccepted. It's condescending to deem behavior a federal case. People can handle it with local officials if necessary or with tolerance. No further government costs and oversight necessary. Otherwise inform America specifically, why the mess with the only law common to all people/America(ns) without discrimination, bias or racism…
      Bring forward those Americans and their governments who are unacceptable to the respects and expectations of civil law!

    2. Bobbie says:

      The President is allowing a man that shot another dead to commence his freedom until court? A man hired by government with a gun in his hand, running down a teenager belting out fake screams without a single sound from the young man shot, shooting the innocent man the shooter was looking to shoot or he would've monitored the situation not confront it with a loaded weapon! Government hiree, people! Now obama is challenging accountability by skin color! He says the laws have to be examined? No, the laws have to be enforced! Feelings can come out later in court by the person, not deemed by the President who thinks he's above God! and if the government is going to embarrass men and America by putting men in a "protected class" and men accept that, they shouldn't be allowed in positions of government authority or armed by government or in leadership roles! the government condescension of protection for men is just cover for exceptions made to accountabilities not quite men enough to hold themselves accountable to because they are a "protected class" of men. unqualified to protect citizens those men are protected from! it is a tragedy that government has these types of people quick to react in positions of protection?? Hey, is Mr. President accepting that "protected class" as president? What a display of weakness!

    3. Bobbie says:

      People are responsible for their actions, not their skin color!!!
      Lets grow up Obama and your hideous thin skinned counter parts!

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