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Lazy Law: The Backlash November 24, 2009

Posted by federalist in Judiciary.

Looks like activists across the political spectrum are uniting against a problem I previously termed “Lazy Law.” As Harvey Silverglate illustrates in his book Three Felonies a Day federal criminal law is so comprehensive and vague that almost anyone can be construed as having broken some law. Which means that prosecutors can indict practically anyone they wish.

NYTimes offers an interesting survey of the movement.

Edwin Meese III, who was known as a fervent supporter of law and order as attorney general in the Reagan administration, now spends much of his time criticizing what he calls the astounding number and vagueness of federal criminal laws.

“It’s a violation of federal law to give a false weather report,” Mr. Meese said. “People get put in jail for importing lobsters.”



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