Probably the most pervasive political issue in American Politics from 1968 to the present has been characterized by the slogan "law and order." The issue's political appeal is directly related to the substantial increase in violent crime in the streets, buildings and homes of our cities, their suburbs and even smaller metropolitan areas throughout the country. In a free society, balancing the legal rights and privileges of an individual accused of a violent crime with the right of citizens to feel safe in their person and property is almost a labor in vain. Nevertheless, we demand that a proper balance be reached, and we nonchalantly place the responsibility for reaching the proper balance on law enforcement agencies and the judiciary.
The persistent cries for law and order have influenced both the appointment of federal judges and the opinion of sitting federal judges. The effect on the judiciary has manifested itself in a shift in the balancing process, giving less weight to the legal rights and privileges of an individual accused of violent crime. Because the legal rights and privileges of an individual accused of nonviolent crime are identical to those of an individual accused of violent crime, a resulting contraction of the legal rights and privileges of an individual accused of a non-violent crime is inevitable. The analysis of many recent cases in Parts II and III of the Symposium clearly demonstrates a trend in the federal judiciary's interpretation of the law, producing a significant shift in the balancing process away from protecting the legal rights and privileges of individuals accused of the non-violent crime of federal income tax fraud.
Filler, Stuart J.
"Part I: Introduction,"
Hofstra Law Review: Vol. 2
, Article 5.
Available at: http://scholarlycommons.law.hofstra.edu/hlr/vol2/iss1/5