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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Stop the feds from taking your stuff

Our country’s proud history of opposing government seizures of property goes back to the founding: American colonists protested broad warrants, called “writs of assistance,” that British customs officers used to hunt for contraband.

Those colonists would be shocked to learn that far bolder government seizures are carried out on a daily basis today, using a process called civil forfeiture — which the Justice Department is now expanding. On a federal level, this means Uncle Sam can seize your property if officials believe it’s connected to a crime — even if you haven’t been charged. Worse, the same officials who take your stuff are entitled to keep it, which only encourages asset seizure.

Civil forfeiture is big business. In 2014, the Justice Department reported $4.5 billion in forfeiture revenue (both criminal and civil; about 87 percent of all forfeitures conducted by DOJ are civil).
That doesn’t include substantial amounts confiscated by the Treasury Department or by countless lower-level law enforcement agencies. I would report the amount seized by state and local officials, except transparency is so poor that reliable stats don’t exist.



Anonymous said...

Just try and stop Limelight Lewis! He and his revenue troopers will beat you down.

James said...

I cannot understand how this is constitutional (other than just declaring it so).

I agree with confiscating the illicit gains of criminals who are CONVICTED of a crime in a proper procedure, but to just take them on suspicion? With no recourse?

Absolutely wrong.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that this is akin to one of the contributing factors that brought on the American Revolution, The Quartering Act of 1765.

Soundman said...

This is just government-authorized theft if the person has not been tried and convicted.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely government theft on a local level.

One of the reasons I despise the law enforcement community for doing these jobs.

And I have never been a victim of this activity for the record.