Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The World's Oldest Profession Is Local

Late last year, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act by a vote of 405-2. The legislation, which would create an office within the Department of Justice that would have responsibility for supporting efforts against the sex trade both within the United States and overseas, was supported by the lobbying arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Now, however, The Hill reports that the bill faces strong opposition in the Senate, where it is being opposed by the Bush administration, conservative groups such as the Heritage Foundation, and law enforcement entities such as the Fraternal Order of Police. These various constituencies argue that enforcement against these crimes is appropriately a function of local law enforcement, not the federal government.

That would seem to be correct. Over the last several decades there has been a trend toward federalizing a whole array of crimes previously handled by the states. Except for crimes that require federal involvement, local enforcement would be preferable.

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