That’s Sort Of What “Against The Law” Means

Via NRO comes what may be the most bizarre argument in a New York Times editorial ever:

The Justice Department decided last week not to bring charges against Tom DeLay, whose unethical conduct represented a modern low among Congressional leaders. The decision is a reminder that some of Washington’s worst big-money practices remain either legal or far too difficult to prosecute.

Mr. DeLay, the Texas Republican who had been the House majority leader, crowed that he had been “found innocent.” But many of Mr. DeLay’s actions remain legal only because lawmakers have chosen not to criminalize them.

Yea, see guys the way the law works is that you only get charged with a crime when you do something that’s against a law that’s already been written.

Is that so hard to understand ?

FILED UNDER: Congress, Law and the Courts, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. sam says:

    Guess it is. That’s hilarious. “How many nonlegislated criminal acts have you committed this week?”

  2. alkali says:

    Here is the complete quote:

    Mr. DeLay, the Texas Republican who had been the House majority leader, crowed that he had been “found innocent.” But many of Mr. DeLay’s actions remain legal only because lawmakers have chosen not to criminalize them. Mr. DeLay’s wife and daughter, for example, were paid more than $500,000 by his political action and campaign committees for “strategic guidance” and event-planning. Others in Congress, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have put family members on the payroll.

  3. Of course none of what you highlighted is against the law. Which is the what makes the Times’ editorial sort of dumb

  4. PD Shaw says:

    It was only legal because government investigators were unable to catch Delay lying to them about his golf score.