The Supreme Court Should Not Let Bureaucrats Invent Crimes by Rewriting the Law

Source: Reason
by Jacob Sullum

“On December 26, 2018, every American who owned a bump stock, a rifle accessory that facilitates rapid firing, was suddenly guilty of a federal felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. That did not happen because a new law took effect; it happened because federal regulators reinterpreted an existing law to mean something they had long said it did not mean. As anyone who has read the Constitution or watched Schoolhouse Rock! could tell you, this is not how laws are supposed to be made. The Trump administration’s bump stock ban, which is at the center of a case that the U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed to hear, raises the question of whether unelected bureaucrats can evade the constitutionally prescribed legislative process by unilaterally criminalizing previously legal conduct.” (11/15/23)