Washington Times: “The Founders viewed the criminal sanction as a last resort, reserved for serious offenses, clearly defined, so ordinary citizens would know whether they were violating the law. Yet over the last 40 years, an unholy alliance of big-business-hating liberals and tough-on-crime conservatives has made criminalization the first line of attack — a way to demonstrate seriousness about the social problem of the month, whether it’s corporate scandals or e-mail spam. . . . There are now more than 4,000 federal crimes, spread out through some 27,000 pages of the U.S. Code. Some years ago, analysts at the Congressional Research Service tried to count the number of separate offenses on the books, and gave up, lacking the resources to get the job done. If teams of legal researchers can’t make sense of the federal criminal code, obviously, ordinary citizens don’t stand a chance. You can serve federal time for interstate transport of water hyacinths, trafficking in unlicensed dentures, or misappropriating the likeness of Woodsy Owl and his associated slogan, ‘Give a hoot, don’t pollute.’ (‘What are you in for, kid?’ your new cellmate growls.) Bills currently before Congress would send Americans to federal prison for eating horsemeat or selling goods falsely labeled as ‘Native American’.”
See also “Honest Services Fraud: Your Third Felony Today?” which states:
Congress has continued to pass indecipherable legislation, and federal prosecutors have continued to twist statutes in order to criminalize a broad array of conduct—including, quite often, conduct that is assuredly not in violation of state law but which suddenly becomes federal fraud.