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Letter to Senate and Commerce Leadership on Overcriminalization in the RESTRICT Act (April 2023)
We, the undersigned organizations, write in opposition to S. 686, the “Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology Act,” or the “RESTRICT Act.” The RESTRICT Act aims at information and communications (ICTs) technologies like TikTok that are considered a threat to the United States.
Without Intent: How Congress Is Eroding the Criminal Intent Requirement in Federal Law
On May 5, 2010, NACDL and The Heritage Foundation released this groundbreaking, non-partisan report. At the release event, NACDL Executive Director Norman L. Reimer described the report as a "blueprint for principled reform" and urged "every elected official to end the madness that has produced over 4,450 federal criminal statutes, and countless tens of thousands more arising from the unchecked power of regulatory authorities." [Released May 2010]
Joint Letter to Senators on Constitutional and Privacy Issues in the EARN IT Act (March 2020)
Letter with the Due Process Institute to members of the Senate regarding the constitutional, privacy, and overreach issues arising in the Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies (EARN IT) Act of 2020 (S. 3398).
United States v. Cooper
Brief of Amicus Curiae National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Support of Appellant and Suggesting Reversal.
Argument: If the Court finds that the general duty to comply with the legislative purpose of SORNA provided the Attorney General an “intelligible principle” for deciding whether to make the law retroactive, then the Court must decide whether that standard satisfies the Constitutional non-delegation rule in a criminal context. Appellant’s case presents the constitutional delegation question in stark form, and because of the date of his prior convictions and the time period when he failed to register, the issue cannot be avoided on statutory grounds. The complete and standardless Congressional assignment to the Attorney General of authority to decide the extent of SORNA’s retroactivity violates any Constitutional standard limiting delegation of the legislative power. When the Legislature empowers an Executive agency, and in particular the Attorney General, to decide what conduct will constitute a crime, Congress must “meaningfully constrain” the exercise of that delegated authority.