Fellow Patriot: The voluntary financial generosity of supporters like you keeps our hard-hitting analysis coming. Please support the 2021 Year-End Campaign today. Thank you for your support! —Nate Jackson, Managing Editor

Political Editors / November 2, 2017

Reform America’s Overbearing Federal Law Code

The manner in which the federal criminal law code is created needs to be reformed.

The federal government’s over-regulation doesn’t just consume Americans’ money and time, it’s impacting our freedom as well. One issue that has slowly gained the attention of an increasing number of Americans and politicians is the need for criminal justice reforms. America’s high prison populations, along with a high number of repeat offenders, is pointed to by many as evidence suggesting that the nation’s penal system is seriously broken. In October, Senate Republicans introduced three bills designed to reform the criminal justice system. These bills are a step in the right direction, but they still overlook one major component of the problem rarely mentioned — the problem of over-criminalization. Put simply, there are way too many federal laws and regulations on the books.

Experts who have studied the problem estimate that only about 5,000 of the more than 300,000 criminally enforceable federal laws have ever been directly voted on by Congress. That means that almost 99% of the federal criminal law code has been created by unelected bureaucrats working within executive branch agencies. In other words, there are no elected officials who the American public can hold accountable for these federal laws. This was not how the federal government was designed to work, as the job of the creating and voting on laws is supposed to be the responsibility of the legislative branch, not the executive. Basic American civics.

How did we end up here? Much of the initial blame falls on Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal executive power grab. Since 1940, the number of civilians employed in the executive branch has tripled. Along with increasing the size and scope of the executive branch was the development of legal doctrine stipulating that courts are to defer to a federal agency’s own interpretations of the scope of its authority. Essentially, these federal agencies have been granted the power to make whatever rules they claim fit within their own defined authority. According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, for every law Congress passes, federal agencies create 18 new regulations.

The greater number of criminal laws created, the greater the potential for more Americans to run afoul of those laws, intentionally so or not. More rules create more rule breakers. This power must return to Congress, where elected officials can be held directly responsible for the laws they vote on. No more of this handing off power and authority to unelected career bureaucrats.

Start a conversation using these share links:

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!


“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.