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Leadership for America

Rule of Law

Reestablishing the rule of law as the foundation for constitutional...

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Statement of Purpose

The American justice system suffers from a prevailing judicial philosophy that treats judging as politics by another name; a dangerous trend to “over-criminalize”—that is, to criminalize conduct that is socially and economically beneficial or is better regulated by the civil justice system or administrative means; and a civil litigation system run amok by frivolous lawsuits and outrageous damage awards.

Objectives

  1. 1.Reform the “imperial judiciary,” which usurps power that belongs to the political branches of government and wrongly interferes with Heritage’s vision for America.

  2. 2.Restore the courts to their constitutional role, which is to protect individual liberty, property rights, and free enterprise and to enforce the constitutional limits on government.

  3. 3.Reform America’s civil justice system by restoring its traditional role, which is to fairly enforce contracts and property rights, justly mediate disputes involving claims of injury or damage, and follow the rules involving private disputes established by the legislature.

  4. 4.Reverse the dangerous trend to criminalize conduct that is socially and economically beneficial or is better regulated by the civil justice system or administrative means.

  • Encouraging Lawful Immigration and Discouraging Unlawful Immigration Encouraging Lawful Immigration and Discouraging Unlawful Immigration

    Unlawful immigration challenges America’s ability to protect its borders and preserve its sovereignty. Congress should not adopt failed policies of the past, such as an amnesty, which treats law-breakers better than law-followers and encourages future unlawful immigration. When Congress implements step-by-step the proper policies, American will benefit greatly from the resulting lawful immigration.

  • Overview of the Supreme Court’s New Term Overview of the Supreme Court’s New Term

    Heritage Experts Consider the Big Issues at Stake in Key Cases that America’s Highest Court Will Consider in Its New Term (October 2012-June 2013)

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Experts From This Initiative

  • Edwin Meese III Edwin Meese III

    Edwin Meese III, the prominent conservative leader, thinker and elder statesman, continues a quarter-century formal association with The Her...

  • David S. Addington David S. Addington

    David S. Addington is group vice president for research at The Heritage Foundation. The leading think tank develops and promotes conservativ...

  • John Malcolm John Malcolm

    John G. Malcolm oversees The Heritage Foundation’s work to increase understanding of the Constitution and the rule of law as director of the...

  • Paul Larkin Paul Larkin

    Paul J. Larkin Jr. directs The Heritage Foundation’s project to counter abuse of the criminal law, particularly at the federal level, as...

  • Paul Rosenzweig Paul Rosenzweig

    Paul Rosenzweig, who helped craft policy and strategy inside the Department of Homeland Security, brings that experience back to The Her...

  • Elizabeth Slattery Elizabeth Slattery

    Elizabeth Slattery is a legal fellow in the Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. She researches a va...

  • Hans A. von Spakovsky Hans A. von Spakovsky

    Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues – including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the ...

  • Andrew M. Grossman Andrew M. Grossman

    Andrew M. Grossman is a visiting legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, where he researches an...

  • Evan Bernick

OTHER LEADERSHIP for AMERICA INITIATIVES