Publication Date

Spring 2023


Helms School of Government


Criminal Justice


Stealth Authoritarianism, Politicization, Law Enforcement, U.S. Constitution, Administrative State, Corruption, Deep State, Ethics


American Politics | Constitutional Law | Criminal Law | Criminal Procedure | Law and Politics | Law Enforcement and Corrections | Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility


This thesis proposes that there is a lack of public confidence in federal law enforcement agencies and that this is because these agencies have become political weapons, investigating individuals rather than crimes, in violation of the U.S. Constitution. Following multiple scandals, from the historical targeting of the Civil Rights movement to present attempts to designate parents critical of school administrators as domestic terrorists, wholesale reform of these agencies is urgent. Therefore, this thesis will address the issue of politicization, political corruption, and the lack of adherence to constitutional principles through the problem, significance, and solution method. This thesis will first examine the history of these federal law enforcement agencies and provide evidence, using both primary and secondary sources that have been peer-reviewed or extensively sourced, of the issues mentioned earlier within them. Then, this paper will address the significance of the problem within these agencies. The solution to federal overreach will be examined, with justification as to the preferred outcome for a particular agency, and explain the danger of complacency. Hopefully, by evidencing this significance, the reforms contained within this paper can be applied to facilitate a United States where equal justice for all is not just words, and our enduring constitutional freedoms can aid us in developing a more perfect Union.