Government Adds 439 New Crimes to U.S. Code in Five Years
It should be a crime to create this many crimes.
In their June report to the House Over-Criminalization Task Force, the Congressional Research Service gave Americans an idea of how absurd the government is becoming. According to the report, from 2008 to 2013 the government added 439 crimes to the U.S. Code.
In his 2008 analysis, Georgetown Visiting Professor of Law John S. Baker found that 452 new crimes were added between 2000 and 2007. At the time of writing the analysis, Baker records a total of 4,450 crimes in the U.S. Code. According to the Congressional Research Service, there are now 4,889.
CJ Ciaramella, writer for Free Beacon, notes that many of the new offenses piggyback “the criminal code surrounding fraud, racketeering, child pornography, recruitment of child soldiers, and other crimes often pursued by federal prosecutors.” However, others address new concerns, like “high seas navigation of an unflagged sub” in response to narco-subs.
Although many of us may not find ourselves coming close to committing these crimes, Baker believes that “each new crime expands the jurisdiction of federal law enforcement and federal courts,” gradually making the government larger than necessary.
While a number of these new crimes are in response to national security, terrorism, protection of federal law enforcement, and protection of children from sexual exploitation, a few impede a person’s civil liberties.
I think we can agree that government power is extending far beyond what we’d prefer when they’re allowed to make mailing cigarettes and tobacco illegal.
[h/t Free Beacon]