The Book of Ron Paul
1997 Ron Paul Chapter 30


8 May 1997

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Congressional Record (Page H2392)   Cached

1997 Ron Paul 30:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in opposition to the Juvenile Crime Control Act of 1997. This bill, if passed, will further expand the authority of this country’s national police force. Despite the Constitutional mandate that jurisdiction over such matters is relegated to the States, the U.S. Congress refuses to acknowledge that the Constitution stands as a limitation on centralized Government power and that the few enumerated Federal powers include no provision for establishment of a Federal juvenile criminal justice system. Lack of Constitutionality is what today’s debate should be about. Unfortunately, it is not. At a time when this Congress needs to focus on ways to reduce the power of the Federal Government and Federal spending, Congress will instead vote on a bill which, if passed, will do just the opposite.

1997 Ron Paul 30:2
In the name of an inherently-flawed, Federal war on drugs and the resulting juvenile crime problem, the well-meaning, good-intentioned Members of Congress continue to move the Nation further down the path of centralized-Government implosion by appropriating yet more Federal taxpayer money and brandishing more U.S. prosecutors at whatever problem happens to be brought to the floor by any Members of Congress hoping to gain political favor with some special-interest group. The Juvenile Crime Control Act is no exception.

1997 Ron Paul 30:3
It seems to no longer even matter whether governmental programs actually accomplish their intended goals or have any realistic hope of solving problems. No longer does the end even justify the means. All that now matters is that Congress do something. One must ask how many new problems genuinely warrant new Federal legislation. After all, most legislation is enacted to do little more than correct inherently-flawed existing interventionary legislation with more inherently-flawed legislation. Intervention, after all, necessarily begets more intervention as another futile attempt to solve the misallocations generated by the preceding iterations.

1997 Ron Paul 30:4
More specific to H.R. 3, this bill denies localities and State governments a significant portion of their autonomy by, among other provisions, directing the Justice Department to establish an Armed Violent Youth Apprehension program. Under this program, one Federal prosecutor would be designated in every U.S. Attorney’s office and would prosecute armed violent youth. Additionally, a task force would coordinate the apprehension of armed violent youth with State and local law enforcement. Of course, anytime the Federal Government said it would “coordinate” a program with State officials, the result has inevitably been more Federal control. Subjecting local enforcement officials, the result has inevitably been more Federal control. Subjecting local enforcement officials, many of whom are elected, to the control of Federal prosecutors is certainly reinventing government but it is reinventing a government inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution.

1997 Ron Paul 30:5
This bill also erodes State and local autonomy by requiring that States prosecute children as young as 15 years old in adult court. Over the past week, my office has received many arguments on both the merits and the demerits of prosecuting, and punishing, children as adults. I am disturbed by stories of the abuse suffered by young children at the hands of adults in prison. However, I, as a U.S. Congressman, do not presume to have the breadth and depth of information necessary to dictate to every community in the Nation how best to handle as vexing a problem as juvenile crime.

1997 Ron Paul 30:6
H.R. 3 also imposes mandates on States which allow public access to juvenile records. These records must also be transmitted to the FBI. Given the recent controversy over the misuse of FBI files, I think most citizens are becoming extremely wary of expanding the FBI’s records of private citizens.

1997 Ron Paul 30:7
This bill also authorizes $1.5 billion in new Federal spending to build prisons. Now, many communities across the country might need new prisons, but many others may prefer to spend that money on schools, or roads. Washington should end all such unconstitutional expenditures and return to individual taxpayers and communities those resources which allow spending as those recipients see fit rather than according to the dictates of the U.S. Congress.

1997 Ron Paul 30:8
Because this legislation exceeds the Constitutionally-imposed limits on Federal power and represents yet another step toward a na-tional-police-state, and for each of the additional reasons mentioned here, I oppose passage of H.R. 3, the Juvenile Crime Control Act of 1997.


1997 Ron Paul Chapter 30
The text of this chapter was inserted in Congressional Record as an extention of remarks, and was not spoken on the House floor.

1997 Ron Paul 30:2
inherently-flawed probably should be unhyphenated: inherently flawed.

1997 Ron Paul 30:3
inherently-flawed probably should be unhyphenated: inherently flawed in both instances.

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