Since the 1980s the federal government has prompted the militarization of federal, state, and local law enforcement. That militarization has led not only to well-publicized disasters, but to a widespread increase in violent law enforcement, which has played a major role in alienating Americans from their government. Such baleful consequences are the result of another dangerous trend, the expansion of the power of federal criminal justice far beyond its legitimate constitutional limits. Law and order begin at the top; the most important criminal justice reforms are those that return federal law enforcement to its constitutional role.

More on Police Tactics and Misconduct


Criminally Confidential

By Jonathan Blanks. Democracy Journal. October 16, 2018.

California Senate Bill 1421 Helps Hold Bad Cops Accountable

By Jonathan Blanks. The Orange County Register. August 11, 2018.

Make Cops Carry Liability Insurance: The Private Sector Knows How to Spread Risks, and Costs

By Clark Neily. New York Daily News. March 29, 2018.

Cato Studies

Police Patrols and Crime

By Jordi Blanes i Vidal and Giovanni Mastrobuoni. Research Briefs in Economic Policy No. 112. May 9, 2018.

Drones on the Border: Efficacy and Privacy Implications

By David Bier and Matthew Feeney. Immigration Research and Policy Brief No. 5. May 1, 2018.

Border Patrol Termination Rates: Discipline and Performance Problems Signal Need for Reform

By Alex Nowrasteh. Policy Analysis No. 825. November 2, 2017.


Federal Appeals Court Should Reject Total Immunity for Prosecutors

Jay Schweikert. New York Law Journal. April 25, 2018.

Thin Blue Lies: How Pretextual Stops Undermine Police Legitimacy

Jonathan Blanks. Case Western Reserve Law Review. Vol. 66. No. 4. 2016.

Ending Legalized Piracy: Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform

Roger Pilon and Trevor Burrus. Policy Priorities for the 114th Congress. 2015.

Public Filings

Cisse v. New York

By Scott M. Danner, Priya Raghavan, Ilya Shapiro, & Trevor Burrus. Legal Briefs. December 11, 2018.

Committee for Public Counsel Services v. Attorney General of Massachusetts, Mass. Supreme Judicial Court

By Monica R. Shah, Emma Quinn-Judge, Clark Neily, & Jay Schweikert. Legal Briefs. April 27, 2018.

Ulbricht v. United States

By Bradley A. Benbrook, Stephen M. Duvernay, Manuel S. Klausner, Ilya Shapiro, Trevor Burrus, & Jim Harper. Legal Briefs. February 5, 2018.

Cato Reviews & Journals

The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist: A True Story of Injustice in the American South by Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington

Jonathan Blanks. Cato Journal. Spring/Summer 2018.

20. Stopping Police Militarization

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

Policing in America

Policy Report. March/April 2016.


The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist: A True Story of Injustice in the American South

Featuring Radley Balko, Tucker Carrington, and Jonathan Blanks. March 15, 2018. Book Forum.

Qualified Immunity: The Supreme Court’s Unlawful Assault on Civil Rights and Police Accountability

Featuring Lynn S. Adelman, William Baude, Victor M. Glasberg, Andrew Pincus, & Clark Neily. March 1, 2018. Policy Forum.

Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration and How to Achieve Real Reform

Featuring John Pfaff, Jeffrey Miron, and Jonathan Blanks. April 26, 2017. Book Forum.