October, 2021

Police State, U.S.A.

  • Christopher Coyne

    Associate Director, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
  • Yuliya Yatsyshina

    Associate Program Director, Academic and Student Programs
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In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. government expanded its domestic police powers on the grounds of protecting the person, property, and liberties of U.S. citizens. Many of these expanded police-state powers persist today. This paper explores how a constitutionally constrained democratic government can take on police-state powers that sustain themselves over time and catalogs some police-state powers implemented after the 9/11 attacks that have persisted—including surveillance activities, militarization of the police, civil asset forfeiture, expanded border patrol, and the no fly list.