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


Britain’s Unexplained Wealth Orders Give the State Too Much Power

By Walter Olson. Washington Examiner. June 13, 2019.

Consent Decrees: Not Just for Cops

By Walter Olson. National Review (Online). February 4, 2019.

What the Media Got Wrong About Jeff Sessions’s Consent-Decree Rules

By Walter Olson. National Review (Online). January 21, 2019.

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

Mitchell v. Wisconsin

By D. Alicia Hickok, Doug R. McCusick, Ilya Shapiro, Clark Neily, Trevor Burrus, & Jay Schweikert. Legal Briefs. March 4, 2019.

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.

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.


Of Dogs and Men

Featuring Clark Neily, Michael Ozias, and Patrick Reasonover. June 6, 2019. Film Screening.

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.