(TargetLiberty.org) – President Trump fought back on Monday against the creeping bureaucratization of American life. He issued an executive order that protects people from punishment if they accidentally break regulations — the “Executive Order Protecting Americans From Overcriminalization Through Regulatory Reform.”
Saying that the growth of regulations from executive branch agencies has created “a thicket of requirements that can be difficult to navigate,” the president ordered federal law should be clearly written in a way that makes it easy to understand. The aim of the executive order is to stop Americans from being punished for violations they didn’t even know they’d committed.
“Federal criminal law should be clearly written so that all Americans can understand what is prohibited and act accordingly,” Trump wrote.
— The Epoch Times (@EpochTimes) January 19, 2021
The order discourages “strict liability” offenses, where prosecutors don’t need to prove the defendant’s state of mind – basically, whether they knew they were breaking the law and did it intentionally. Offenses like this are now classed as “generally disfavored,” and if they do exist, the order says they should be enforced with administrative or civil procedures, instead of through criminal law. It’s a powerful move in favor of ordinary people and a blow against the swamp.
With Biden planning to make some sweeping changes during his first days as president, it’s possible that many of Trump’s orders will be overturned. Let’s hope that orders like these stay in effect following the latest transition of power.
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