• Heritage Action
  • Heritage Libertad
  • More
  • Play Movie Brian Walsh on the Obamacare Ruling on PBS Video Recorded on August 12, 2011 Brian Walsh on the Obamacare Ruling on PBS

    Brian Walsh discusses the recent ruling on Obamacare.…

  • WebMemo posted June 30, 2011 by Brian W. Walsh The Supreme Court’s Willful Blindness Doctrine Opens the Door to More Wrongful Criminal Convictions

    Willful blindness is not knowledge; and judges should not broaden a legislative proscription by analogy. —Justice Anthony Kennedy, May 31, 2011[1] A recent decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in a patent lawsuit may, somewhat surprisingly, have a major and destructive impact on federal criminal law. In Global-Tech Appliances v. SEB, the high court…

  • Commentary posted June 14, 2011 by Brian W. Walsh Beware the U.S. Education Department SWAT team

    Add the U.S. Department of Education to the list of federal agencies that can invade your home at gunpoint and hold you and your family in custody for hours. Kenneth Wright learned this the hard way last week, when federal "education" agents busted down the front door of his Stockton, Calif., home at 6 in the morning."They surrounded the house; it was like a task force or…

  • Commentary posted June 9, 2011 by Brian W. Walsh Doing Violence to the Law: The Over-Federalization of Crime

    The rapid expansion of federal criminal law, beyond almost all prudential and constitutional limits, may not be the first thing to leap to mind when one thinks of key problems with American criminal law. But the existence now of over 4,450 federal criminal offenses is itself a problem that implicates the foundations of the criminal law. The number of federal offenses is…

  • Legal Memorandum posted April 13, 2011 by Brian W. Walsh, Benjamin P Keane Overcriminalization and the Constitution

    Abstract: Although the Constitution’s great structural principles of federalism and separation of powers are designed to guard against the abuse of governmental power and secure individual liberty, Congress routinely flouts these constitutional safeguards by enacting vague, overly broad, and other improper and unconstitutional criminal laws. Thomas Jefferson warned that…

  • Commentary posted February 10, 2011 by Brian W. Walsh Zero Tolerance Part of a Trend

    "Zero tolerance" policies continue to result in injustices to our nation's public school students. In one of the latest examples, a North Carolina school district's application of zero tolerance may cause 17-year-old senior Ashley Smithwick, described by local media as a standout student-athlete, to miss the rest of her senior year. Far worse, local…

  • Commentary posted February 4, 2011 by Brian W. Walsh 17-year-old Ashley's so-called 'crime'? A paring knife in her lunch sack

    "Zero tolerance" policies continue to result in injustices to our nation's public school students. In one of the latest examples, a North Carolina school district's application of zero tolerance may cause 17-year-old senior Ashley Smithwick, described by local media as a standout student-athlete, to miss the rest of her senior year. Far worse, local prosecutors'…

  • Testimony posted December 8, 2010 by Brian W. Walsh Reining in Overcriminalization: Assessing the Problems, Proposing Solutions

    Before the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security Committee on the Judiciary United States House of Representatives Delivered September 28, 2010 Thank you Chairman Scott, Ranking Member Gohmert, and Members of the Committee for inviting me here to testify.[1] More importantly, thank you for holding this hearing to address the serious …

  • Testimony posted December 2, 2010 by Brian W. Walsh Exploring the National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2009

    Testimony before the Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs of the Committee on the Judiciary United States Senate June 11, 2009 My name is Brian Walsh, and I am Senior Legal Research Fellow in The Heritage Foundation's Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. The views I express in this testimony are my own, and should not be construed as representing any official…

  • Testimony posted December 2, 2010 by Brian W. Walsh The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009

    My name is Brian Walsh, and I am Senior Legal Research Fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. The views I express in this testimony are my own and should not be construed as representing any official position of The Heritage Foundation. Thank you Chairman Leahy, Ranking Member Sessions, and Members of the Committee for…

  • Commentary posted October 15, 2010 by Brian W. Walsh Traps for the Innocent

    What do former Indianapolis 500 champion Bobby Unser and small-businessman Abbie Schoenwetter have in common? Both are victims of "overcriminalization," a trend that has caused the number of federal laws to spike dramatically in recent decades. And both of these otherwise law-abiding Americans recently told Congress about their experiences. Unser and Schoenwetter…

  • Commentary posted August 26, 2010 by Brian W. Walsh Fire-Breathing Bartenders Get Doused

    If Fairfax County's fire marshal has his way, two fire-breathing mixologists will find themselves behind prison bars for decades to come. Their crime? Entertaining their customers. On July 24, fire investigators arrested 33-year-old Tegee Rogers and 39-year-old Justin Fedorchak at Jimmy's Old Town Tavern in Herndon. The two bartenders were caught in the act:…

  • Play Movie Brian Walsh on One Nation Under Arrest on Stossel Video Recorded on July 15, 2010 Brian Walsh on One Nation Under Arrest on Stossel

    Brian Walsh discusses overcriminalization and the Heritage book, One Nation Under Arrest; and John Stossel interviews some of the victims of overcriminalization from the book.…

  • WebMemo posted June 22, 2010 by Jena Baker McNeill, Brian W. Walsh Oil Spill Response Sets Poor Precedent for Public–Private Cooperation

    Last week, President Obama squandered his primetime speech on the Gulf oil spill by belaboring the issue of BP’s legal liability and monetary payments. No one—not even BP or its drilling partners—had been questioning whether the companies should bear the full cost of their legal liabilities for the oil spill damages and cleanup. Even without the huge escrow fund that the…

  • WebMemo posted June 9, 2010 by Brian W. Walsh The Criminal Intent Report: Congress Must Justify New Criminalization

    The political pressure to criminalize innocent conduct has proved difficult for most Members of Congress, irrespective of party affiliation, to resist. As a result of these pressures, Congress often crafts criminal legislation that is “misguided, unnecessary, and even harmful.”[1] It is far too easy for a Member of Congress to score political points by casting himself as…