November 24, 2009 10:09AM

Right and Left Take on Feds

The New York Times has a good article about how lawyers on both the right and left are working together to try and roll back state power in the criminal justice system. Here is an excerpt:

“It’s a remarkable phenomenon,” said Norman L. Reimer, executive director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. “The left and the right have bent to the point where they are now in agreement on many issues. In the area of criminal justice, the whole idea of less government, less intrusion, less regulation has taken hold.”

There’s plenty to be concerned about — overcriminalization, federalization of crime, and the militarization of police tactics. I told the reporter that Cato has been uniquely positioned on this subject — that is, we remind our friends on the left that businesspeople have their rights violated all the time. And we remind our friends on the right that police and prosecutors abuse their powers in the “blue collar” context as well. It is encouraging that more organizations are taking a more skeptical view of government power generally and are embracing more principled positions with respect to the rights of the accused set forth in the Constitution.

Other blogs are covering this article and subject too — go here, here, and here.

It was also nice to see that our friend Harvey Silverglate’s new book (Three Felonies a Day) was mentioned. We had a book forum for Harvey a few weeks ago and C‑Span was here to cover it.

For additional Cato work on criminal justice, go herehere, and here.