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98.5 Percent of Federal Crimes Never Approved by Congress

98.5 Percent of Federal Crimes Never Approved by Congress
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Friday, 08 September 2017 10:00 AM Current | Bio | Archive

There are congressionally approved laws against approximately 4,450 federal crimes. Overall, bureaucrats have approved regulations creating more than 300,000 federal crimes.[1][2] That means at least 98.5 percent of all federal crimes were never approved by Congress.

Jim Copland of the Manhattan Institute refers to this as "Criminalization Without Representation."[3] "Though this practice has been normalized over the past few decades with the growth of the modern regulatory state,” Copland believes that “it is a sharp departure from our nation’s philosophical roots. Elected representatives — and, by extension, those they represent — have not had a meaningful say in whether conduct should be criminalized." And, Copland reminds us, "the Declaration of Independence specifically states that the government’s just powers are derived 'from the consent of the governed.'"

The Competitive Enterprise Institute notes that for every new law passed by Congress last year, 18 new federal rules were implemented by the bureaucracy.[4]

After adjusting for inflation, the budget for federal regulatory agencies is nine times higher today than it was in 1970. The number of regulatory employees has grown significantly during that time frame.

Footnotes:

  1. The Heritage Foundation, "Revisiting the Explosive Growth of Federal Crimes," June 16, 2008
  2. Coffee Jr., John C. "Does 'Unlawful' Mean 'Criminal'?: Reflections on the Disappearing Tort/Crime Distinction in American Law." Boston University Law Review 71 (1991): 193-216.
  3. Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, "Let's End Criminalization Without Representation," January 14, 2017
  4. Competitive Enterprise Institute, "The 2017 Unconstitutionality Index: 18 Federal Rules for Every Law Congress Passes," December 30, 2016

Each weekday, Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day explores interesting and newsworthy topics at the intersection of culture, politics, and technology. Columns published on Ballotpedia reflect the views of the author.

Scott Rasmussen is a Senior Fellow for the Study of Self-Governance at the King’s College in New York and an Editor-At-Large for Ballotpedia, the Encyclopedia of American Politics. His most recent book, "Politics Has Failed: America Will Not," was published by the Sutherland Institute in May.To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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There are congressionally approved laws against approximately 4,450 federal crimes. Overall, bureaucrats have approved regulations creating more than 300,000 federal crimes.
crime, law, federal rules, congress, legislation
340
2017-00-08
Friday, 08 September 2017 10:00 AM
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