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  • The Worst Thing that Anybody Can Do to You is Take Away Your Freedom

    How much danger does the federal government’s unprincipled, out-of-control body of criminal law pose to, say, the average American small-business person?  Well, suppose you were a small-business owner, and for twelve years both U.S. Customs and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had been inspecting the shipments of seafood … More

    Wall Street Journal Exposes Federal Overcriminalization

    Aspiring inventor Krister Evertson received a two-year sentence for allegedly abandoning materials that he had stored in sealed, stainless-steel containers, thus doing no harm to the environment.  Indianapolis 500 champion Bobby Unser was prosecuted and convicted because federal prosecutors estimated that he and his snowmobiling companion wandered into a national … More

    Criminalization without Justification

    The Wall Street Journal this weekend documented several sad features of the federal government’s proliferation of poorly written criminal laws, many of which leave it to prosecutors to pick and choose which Americans to prosecute as criminals. The Journal chronicles the stories of a half dozen Americans who became the … More

    Florida’s Interior-Design Disaster

    We’ve all heard of the fashion police but probably assumed that was just a figure of speech.  It turns out, however, that if you don’t have the bureaucratic blessing of a license and yet deign to select drapes, recommend paintings, or (horrors!) place Persian rugs and decorative partitions for a … More

    The Supreme Court and the Right to Bring Constitutional Challenges to Criminal Laws

    Today the U.S. Supreme Court will consider the connection between an international convention to eliminate chemical weapons and a suburban Philadelphia love triangle. Remarkably, the first and apparently only person prosecuted under the United States’ implementation of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention is Carol Anne Bond, a Lansdale, Pennsylvania, woman … More

    Overcriminalization: Attacking a Dangerous Precedent

    What happens when the Florida legislature eliminates the centuries-old requirement that the government must prove that an accused person acted with criminal intent before he may be punished as a criminal?  It risks making almost anyone a criminal – both those who intend to commit a crime and those who … More

    John Stossel Highlights Heritage’s Work Combating Overcriminalization

    One of the reasons that John Stossel’s face, voice, and trademark “Give Me a Break” tagline are so familiar to conservatives is that he has mastered the art of illustrating the absurdity of arbitrary, overreaching decisions by bureaucrats, lawmakers, and other government officials.  Tonight, his show on Fox Business focuses … More

    Live Blogging the Kagan Confirmation: Day Four

    7:30 Alt on Kagan’s Activism and Willingness to Interpret the Constitution based on Foreign Law Robert Alt entered into the record a written statement in support of his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee this evening. Alt’s statement explains why Kagan’s activism calls into question her fitness for a lifetime … More

    The Kagan Confirmation: Day Three Summary

    In Day Three questioning of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, conservative senators continued to press for clear, forthright answers to resolve the serious questions surrounding Kagan’s unlawful policy on military recruiting at Harvard Law School and her views on the reach of federal power to regulate details of American life, … More

    The Kagan Confirmation: Day Two Summary

    Day two of the Elena Kagan confirmation hearings saw a little less posturing than yesterday’s opening salvos by Senators bent on diverting attention from Kagan’s record by excoriating the current Supreme Court and falsely characterizing it as a bunch of “conservative activists.” Unfortunately, there was the same lack of meaningful … More