Emory Law Journal


Virtually all criminal law scholars bemoan the over-federalization of criminal law. They are joined by judges, bar review associations, and special interest groups. Conventional wisdom has it that our federal congressmen and senators curry favor with their constituents by making a federal case out of any conceivable bad behavior. On the other hand, a lawmaker who votes to repeal a criminal law may be faced with accusations that she is soft on crime. Thus, politics (rather than reasoned judgment) has led to the passage of upwards of approximately 4,500 federal criminal prohibitions, as many as half of these passed since 1970.