Opinion Pieces

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  • Criminal justice reform needed for Wisconsin, nation
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on March 7, 2016 | Preview rr
    Tags: Judiciary

    It's no secret that America's criminal justice system is broken. From overpopulated prisons to high incarceration recidivism rates, the past few decades have shown that efforts to improve the system have fallen short — both in effectiveness and cost savings. The issues we face are vast and all-encompassing, and — as is often the case with large, complex problems — they can be difficult to visualize. Many people want to easily explain the breakdown of our criminal justice system as something that... Read more

  • Welcome to the Legal Minefield Laid by Obama and the Feds
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on February 16, 2016 | Preview rr
    Tags: Judiciary

    Through the first five years of his presidency, Barack Obama added 11,327 pages to the Code of Federal Regulations. No one knows how many criminal laws are contained in the compendium of legal rules and regulations promulgated by executive departments and administrative agencies. When I asked the Congressional Research Service to investigate, they said they didn’t have the resources to answer. One thing is certain, though: No matter how many laws there are, Americans are subject to them all. As ... Read more

  • Tax reform is critical for American economic prosperity
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on February 9, 2016 | Preview rr
    Tags: Economy and Jobs

    When it comes to business, most companies will choose their bottom lines over patriotism — it is simply the reality of today's economic environment. Global competitiveness, economic prosperity and smart money management are prioritized over paying a premium for an American Zip code, which is why we continue to see corporate giants relocating to greener economic pastures without a second thought. Inversions — simply stated — take place when businesses relocate their headquarters outside of the Un... Read more

  • Rep. Sensenbrenner and Sen. Lee: The truth about USA Freedom Act
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on December 18, 2015 | Preview rr
    Tags: Defense & Homeland Security, Judiciary

    There are no easy answers when it comes to keeping the government out of the lives of innocent Americans without sacrificing safety or national security. That fact was on full display at the recent Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas. While heated exchanges and political posturing demonstrated the issue’s significance, the conversation unfortunately lacked critical facts. It’s paramount that our political leaders are accurate when discussing our nation’s counterterrorism policies because... Read more

  • Obama must avoid a constitutional crisis on Guantanamo
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on November 23, 2015 | Preview rr
    Tags: Defense & Homeland Security, Judiciary

    In a recent Post op-ed, Gregory B. Craig, former White House counsel, and Cliff Sloan, former special envoy for Guantanamo closure, argued that President Obama has the legal authority to ignore the law and transfer some of the world’s most dangerous terrorists to the United States. I sincerely hope that, as former Obama administration officials, they are not laying the groundwork for a course of conduct from the White House that can end only in constitutional crisis. In a recent letter, I respec... Read more

  • Obama’s Clean Power Plan is a Bad Deal for America
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on November 16, 2015 | Preview rr
    Tags: Energy

    In 2009, President Obama turned his attention from his campaign victory to a carefully crafted legislative wish list, handed to him by liberal lobbyists and the radical base of the Democratic Party. Among their top priorities were extreme carbon-trading schemes and a war on fossil fuel. Despite the President’s personal popularity, his policy initiatives were met with strong opposition, forcing him to enlist the help of then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and then Speaker of the House Nancy Pe... Read more

  • Now is the Time for Criminal Justice Reform
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on July 30, 2015 | Preview rr
    Tags: Judiciary

    Over the past three decades, America's federal prison population has more than quadrupled — from 500,000 in 1980 to more than 2.3 million today. Prison spending has increased alongside it, placing a heavy burden on American taxpayers. According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, between 1980-2013, prison spending has increased by 595 percent, a staggering figure that is both irresponsible and unsustainable. Currently, the federal prison system consumes more than 25 percent of the entire Department of... Read more

  • Congress must reform outdated and unfair civil forfeiture laws
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on February 10, 2015 | Preview rr

    By Jim Sensenbrenner ​Published on February 10, 2015 It's hard to believe this can happen in America. The government is seizing billions of dollars of cash and property from Americans, often without charging them with a crime. Worse, the law enforcement agencies that seize the cash are usually entitled to keep it. If these individuals were found guilty of crimes and this money was its fruit, my only response would be applause. But forfeitures need not be predicated on crimes. Recent reports hig... Read more

  • President Barack Obama created the border crisis
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on July 16, 2014 | Preview rr
    Tags: Immigration

    By Jim Sensenbrenner ​Published on July 16, 2014 In recent weeks, we have seen an evolution of the Rahm Emanuel Doctrine. The Obama administration's policy to "never let a crisis go to waste" now includes "even if you have to manufacture that crisis yourself." Last week, the president asked Congress to authorize $3.7 billion in emergency funding. Almost half — $1.8 billion — would be for shelter and other services for unaccompanied alien children (UACs) who illegally crossed our southern border... Read more

  • Protect our right to vote
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on March 20, 2014 | Preview rr
    Tags: Judiciary

    ​By Jim Sensenbrenner ​Published on March 20, 2014 I bristle when people on the right or left suggest there is a conflict between my support for the Voting Rights Act and voter ID laws. The former is possibly the most important civil rights legislation ever passed, and the latter is a useful tool to prevent fraud. The belief that no voter should be disenfranchised and every legal vote should be tallied is nonpartisan. And now, as we approach this year's elections, we must ensure the proper prot... Read more