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Conservative Principles of Justice

Conservatives believe that the core function of government is keeping the public safe from harm within the constraints of individual liberty and limited government. We know it is the nature of bureaucracy that government agencies grow in size and inefficiency.  The justice system must be held accountable for wise use of tax dollars just as it holds offenders accountable for their actions.

Crime is more than lawbreaking – it is victim harming. Victims should be involved at all stages of the justice process, and the system should aim to repair the harm caused by the crime whenever possible. Offenders should be held accountable to make restitution to their victims.

Local View: The Case Against Mandatory Minimums

By Newt Gingrich and Pat Nolan 

Originally Posted in the Lincoln Journal Star

On April 27, the prison system was preparing to welcome another inmate. The convict was a 28-year old Nebraskan named Leo Guthmiller. A recovering addict, Leo was two years sober, working full-time, studying for his GED, leading AA meetings, completing a drug court program and a newlywed.

While on his way to a routine drug counseling session, Leo got arrested. It seems an ex-girlfriend, who was facing a stiff prison sentence herself, told investigators that Guthmiller had introduced her to his meth dealer years earlier. That introduction allowed prosecutors to charge Leo as part of a drug dealing conspiracy, triggering a 10-year mandatory minimum prison sentence.

Civil Asset Forfeiture Puts Homeowners at Risk of Property Rights Violations

By Pat Nolan and David Safavian, ACUF Center for Criminal Justice Reform 

Originally Posted on

The owner of the resort didn’t ask his guests why they were there. He offered plush accommodations to those seeking to get away.

Sometimes, guests would come to play golf at the private and very exclusive country club. Other times, they used the fabulous spa services down the road. Still others wanted to simply enjoy the nearby beach.

But people came and stayed at the resort, and it was profitable. Some would call it a huge success.

Groups urge Greater Oversight of US Attorney Nominees


By Kelly Cohen

Originally posted on

Criminal justice reform advocates are urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to exercise greater oversight of United States Attorney nominees.

Judge Gorsuch And The Arrest Of The “Disruptive Burper”

By Pat Nolan, Director, ACUF Center for Criminal Justice Reform 

Originally posted on

One of the enjoyable aspects of researching the record of judicial nominees is finding relatively unnoticed opinions that are delightful gems among otherwise tedious legal reading.

So it is that I was delighted to read the droll dissent that Judge Gorsuch wrote in A.M. vs. Holmes. Here is Judge Gorsuch’s statement of the issue in the case: