News of the Weird?

The Washington Post has an article by Orin Kerr on a report in the New York Times about a bill introduced in Congress to change or clarify the “mens rea” required in federal criminal statutes.  I probably should not comment on where the proposal may have come from. It is proposed that:

§ 11. Default state of mind proof requirement in Federal criminal cases

If no state of mind is required by law for a Federal criminal offense—

(1) the state of mind the Government must prove is knowing; and

(2) if the offense consists of conduct that a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances would not know, or would not have reason to believe, was unlawful, the Government must prove that the defendant knew, or had reason to believe, the conduct was unlawful.