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A Crime for Every Controversy

It's like clockwork: Some new scandal pops up in the news, and Congress comes up with legislation to criminalize it.

The latest: The Captive Primate Safety Act, which passed the House yesterday. "Consideration of the needed legislation comes just one week after a woman was critically injured in a vicious chimpanzee attack in Stamford, Connecticut - leaving no doubt that the danger of nonhuman primates in homes and to communities must be addressed," say its sponsors, Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Mark Kirk.

Oddly enough, the law actually doesn't prohibit keeping chimpanzees as pets; instead, it amends the Lacey Act to impose restrictions on their importation and transportation across state lines. Lacey Act violations are punishable by criminal fines and serious jail-time.

On some days, it does seem like the front page of the New York Post sets Congress's criminal law agenda.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.