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"Overcriminalization" describes the trends in America - and particulary in Congress - to use the criminal law to "solve" every problem, punish every mistake (instead of making proper use of civil penalties), and coerce Americans into conforming their behavior to satisfy social engineering objectives.

S 22: Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009

Official Title

A bill to designate certain land components of the National Wilderness Preservation System, to authorize certain programs and activities in the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture, and for other purposes.


This massive lands omnibus contains a version of the Paleontological Resources Preservation Act (H.R. 554 in the 110th Congress). This provision would prohibit the excavation, removal, or damage of paleontological resources (i.e., fossils) located on federal lands without first securing a permit issued by the Secretary of the Interior that includes the condition that all such resources remain the property of the federal government. The bill would also prohibit exchanging, transporting, exporting, receiving, or offering paleontological resources if, “in the exercise of due care, the person knew or should have known such resource” has been[/was] removed in violation of the law. Knowing violations would be punishable by criminal fines and imprisonment of up to 5 years, as well as criminal forfeiture of any vehicles or equipment used in connection with the violation, with doubled penalties for second and subsequent offenses.

Legislation Details

Bingaman (D - NM)


03/19/2009: Provisions included as amendment to another bill
03/11/2009: House failed to suspend the rules and pass the bill
01/08/2009: Introduced