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Did Congress Really Give the Secretary of Homeland Security Unfettered Discretion Back in 1986 to Confer Legal Immigrant Status on Whomever He Wishes?

Engage Volume 15, Issue 3
John C. Eastman January 14, 2015

On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced that he was unilaterally suspending deportation proceedings against millions of illegal immigrants.  Despite the President’s claim that his actions were simply “the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican president and every single Democratic President for the past half century,” whether or not prosecutorial discretion can be stretched so far is actually an issue of first impression.  But as serious as that issue is, it masks a much more fundamental constitutional question about executive power...[Read More!]

Overcriminalization: Administrative Regulation, Prosecutorial Discretion, and the Rule of Law

Engage Volume 15, Issue 2
Ronald A. Cass December 16, 2014

Recently, both practical and doctrinal changes have significantly reduced the degree to which criminal punishment fits rule-of-law ideals.  Although far from the only cause, the expansion of criminal sanctions as a by-product of an extraordinary explosion in administrative rulemaking that is backed by criminal liability has helped propel this change.  While there are reasons to support criminal enforcement of administrative decision-making, the ways in which administrative rules are adopted, applied, and enforced and the scale of governmental law-making (including administrative rule-making) that has provided the grounds for potential criminal penalties have produced a massive increase in government power that risks serious erosion of individual liberty. This change cries out for immediate attention—and for changes to the law....[Read More!]