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The Lacey Act and the Overcriminalization Debate

One of the pleasures of teaching law is the opportunity to meet some exceptionally bright students.  One of mine was Jarrett Dieterle, now in his third year, getting ready for his upcoming clerkship with a federal judge.

The paper Jarrett wrote for my class was something of a case study about how a federal statute, originally modest is scope, has grown beyond all comprehension.

More broadly, Jarrett's paper, now published in the Georgetown Law Journal, sheds light on the controversy surrounding the use of criminal sanctions as the hammer of the regulatory state, and the related question whether non-mens rea crimes have any place in the law, much less in federal law.  It is  something of an eye-opener.  You can  find it here.

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