Jordan Candler / Sep. 30, 2015

Will VW Avoid Criminal Charges?

The company may dodge a bullet.

Volkswagen recently admitted to intentionally deceiving consumers and the Environmental Protection Agency for six years by circumventing emissions standards. The question now is what — or, quite remarkably, if — criminal charges will be levied against the company by the Department of Justice. In a surprising twist, it turns out Volkswagen may dodge a bullet thanks ironically to the decades-old Clean Air Act. The Wall Street Journal explains: “Despite the scale of Volkswagen’s behavior … the German auto maker may not face an environmental crime charge here, legal experts say. … While refineries and other types of major polluters are criminally liable under the Clean Air Act for emissions beyond legal limits, the section of the law that deals with automobiles specifically leaves out any similar provision.” Two Democrats are calling for criminal charges anyway, as well as what Sen. Richard Blumenthal called “legislation to close the loophole.”  However, the Constitution prohibits bills of attainder — laws meant to punish specific people or companies — and Congress can’t pass a law now and then sic the DOJ on VW for it. So it depends on what Blumenthal means by closing the loophole. On the other hand, since when do Democrats put Rule of Law first and foremost? All this isn’t to say Volkswagen is out of the woods — civil fines will likely accumulate into billions of dollars — nor is it to excuse its behavior. But how odd it would be if Congress engages in its own constitutional negligence to punish another type of negligence that, regardless of the ethics, technically isn’t criminal. If there’s an exemption in the law, it is what it is.

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2021 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.