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Tim Lynch is the director of Cato’s project on criminal justice, which, under his direction, has become a leading voice in support of the Bill of Rights and civil liberties. His research interests include the War on Terror, overcriminalization, the drug war, the militarization of police tactics, and gun control. In 2000 he served on the National Committee to Prevent Wrongful Executions. Lynch has also filed several amicus briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court in cases involving constitutional rights. He is the editor of In the Name of Justice: Leading Experts Reexamine the Classic Article “The Aims of the Criminal Law” and After Prohibition: An Adult Approach to Drug Policies in the 21st Century.

Since joining Cato in 1991 Lynch has published articles in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, ABA Journal, and the National Law Journal. He has appeared on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, NBC Nightly News, ABC World News Tonight, Fox’s The O’Reilly Factor, and C-SPAN’s Washington Journal. Lynch is a member of the Wisconsin, District of Columbia, and Supreme Court bars. He earned both a BS and a JD from Marquette University.

Tim Lynch also blogs extensively at the Cato Institute’s National Police Misconduct Reporting Project.

More from Tim Lynch


Know Your Rights When Stopped by Police

USA Today. May 15, 2017.

Texas May Offer a Model for Missouri’s Public Defender Crisis

The Kansas City Star (Online). May 7, 2017.

To Reform Indigent Defense, Bring the Market In

National Review (Online). April 19, 2017.

Cato Studies


Public Filings

Lee v. United States

Legal Briefs. February 8, 2017.

Sekhar v. United States

Legal Briefs. March 14, 2013.

Salinas v. Texas

Legal Briefs. February 27, 2013.

Cato Reviews & Journals

One Cheer for United States v. Booker

Supreme Court Review. 2004-2005.

Power and Liberty in Wartime

Supreme Court Review. 2003-2004.

The Case Against Plea Bargaining

Regulation. Fall 2003.


Fall Fables & Fallacies: The Truth about Policing in America

October 12, 2016. Capitol Hill Briefing.

You Have the Right to Remain Innocent

September 29, 2016. Book Forum.

The Syndrome

July 14, 2016. Film Screening.