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    Regulatory Overreach: Obama Administration's Case Against Gibson Guitar Drags On

    Numerous Heritage research papers and postings on The Foundry in the past year have reported on the plight of Gibson Guitar, which has been accused by the Obama Administration of running afoul of the Lacey Act—one of the oldest U.S. environmental regulations. Gibson’s violations were deemed so severe that armed … More

    Should the Agriculture Committee Decide what we do in Afghanistan?

    As part of an ongoing series, the Heritage Center for Legal and Judicial Studies periodically identifies a “Bill of the Week” that relates to the problem of overcriminalization in America. Our Bill of the Week segment usually highlights a piece of legislation that, due to its underlying policies, exacerbate the … More

    The FOCUS Act Hearing: When Silence Is an Admission

    The law sometimes reflects common sense.  Consider this example:  Innocent people don’t remain silent when accused of a crime or misconduct; they deny it.  Accordingly, it is reasonable to infer that such an accusation is true if someone doesn’t scream, “Not me.  I didn’t do it.”  In the law that … More

    Members of Congress Work to Rein In Overcriminalization in America

    What do a legendary guitar maker and a lobster importer have in common? Both are alleged to have run afoul of the Lacey Act, one of the most egregious, overcriminalized statutes on the books. Now some Members of Congress are working to inject some much-needed fairness into the justice system. … More

    Meese Makes Case Against Overcriminalization at Seton Hall Law

    Imagine the police knocking on your door because you mistakenly forgot to fill out an obscure form required by foreign law before opening up a small business.  Imagine your 80-year-old mother being arrested for failing to place the appropriate sticker on an otherwise properly shipped package.  Imagine your cancer-stricken neighbor … More

    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 … More

    New Crime, More Time: Are You A Foreign Outlaw?

    As part of an ongoing series, Heritage’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies identifies a “Bill of the Week” which impacts overcriminalization in America. Not every Bill of the Week represents an unwise policy judgment.  This week we celebrate a bill entitled “The Freedom from Over-Criminalization and Unjust Seizures Act … More

    Overcriminalized Bill of the Week: We Already Know Witness Tampering is Bad

    One of the three aspects of overcriminalization that we highlight in our weekly e-mail alerts is “Federalizing crime that properly belongs under state and local jurisdiction.”  This edition, the first in a series entitled “Overcriminalization Bill of the Week,” contains a textbook example of such a policy mistake. The State … More

    VIDEO: Months After Federal Raid, Gibson Guitar Still Faces No Charges

    Armed federal agents raided Gibson Guitar’s Nashville headquarters in August, creating a national outcry over the high-profile persecution. But today, six months after the raid, the Department of Justice has yet to file any charges against the company. Why did the government go after Gibson? A new video from Reason.tv … More

    "Fashionably Late"? Try "Criminally Late"

    Everyone knows that showing up late generally is a bad idea.  But is it so bad that it ought to be punished criminally?  To some officials in Loudoun County, Virginia, the answer is “Yes.”  In their view, the appropriate treatment for habitual tardiness is not criticism, nor ostracism, nor some … More