Measuring the Explosive Growth of Federal Crime Legislation

October 1, 2004

John S. Baker, Jr.

The Federalist Society commissioned a study to ascertain the current number of crimes in the United States Code, and to compare that figure against the number of federal criminal provisions in years past. The purpose of the study was to ascertain, as best as possible, the rate of growth in the enactment of federal crimes. We analyzed legislation enacted after 1996 and combined that data with the compilations of federal crimes assembled in several previous studies. The study reaches several significant conclusions, all confirming the conventional assumption that the federal criminalization of legal disputes is on the rise...

Measuring the Explosive Growth of Federal Crime Legislation