Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1998

Abstract

Much of the literature on federal criminal law bemoans the extent to which Congress has abdicated its legislative responsibilities and left enforcement decisions to prosecutorial discretion. Many critics have sought to compensate for the absence of appropriate legislative specificity by proposing other devices for limiting prosecutorial power, many of which would centralize enforcer authority. Guided by recent work in positive political theory, Professor Daniel Richman argues that such claims of legislative abdication overlook the attention that Congress has given to the organization and activities of the federal enforcement bureaucracy. By showing the extent to which Congress balances concern with enforcer accountability against suspicion of presidential power, the Article cautions against reform proposals that would undermine considered political decisions about the allocation of criminal enforcement authority.

Comments

This article was originally published in UCLA Law Review.

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