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Tim Lynch is an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute and was, until 2017, the director of Cato’s project on criminal justice. 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.

After joining Cato in 1991 Lynch 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 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.

More from Tim Lynch


Restoring Justice to all in Tennessee

Memphis Commercial Appeal. June 1, 2017.

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.

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

Crime, the Constitution, and the Trump Administration

Policy Report. May/June 2017.

17. Overcriminalization

Cato Handbook for Policymakers. Cato Handbook for Policymakers, 8th Edition (2017).

One Cheer for United States v. Booker

Supreme Court Review. 2004-2005.


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.