The Criminal-Justice Reform No One’s Talking About
Rafael A. Mangual, writing for National Review, cites Wayne Crews’ “Unconstitutionality Index” when talking about criminal justice reform.
In early October, Senate Republicans introduced three bills to reform the federal approach to criminal justice. Earlier versions of these bills had formed the core of a legislative package that stalled under President Obama. While these measures are worthy of serious consideration, they miss a key problem in need of reform: “criminalization without representation.”
Anyone who paid attention in fifth-grade social studies would assume that Congress, which makes the law, knows how many crimes are on the books. But that assumption is mistaken. In fact, one of the new bills, introduced by Senator Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), would require the attorney general to compile a list of all federal criminal offenses.
Thanks in part to the development of legal doctrines that require courts to defer to a federal agency’s interpretations of the scope of its own authority, the federal bureaucracy has become dominant in making the rules by which we live. For every law Congress passes, federal agencies create 18 regulations, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s “Unconstitutionality Index.” Many of these rules, thanks to overly broad grants of authority by Congress, have criminal teeth.
Read the full article at National Review.