Over the last several years, many many Republicans who have civil libertarian leanings have been able to make gains in preventing civil asset forfeiture. The results of this battle have come largely as a result of a coalition of the civil libertarian leaning Republicans joining forces with many of the more progressive Democrats.
For years, the ACLU has adamantly opposed civil asset forfeiture abuse. They state that Civil forfeiture, “allows police to seize — and then keep or sell — any property they allege is involved in a crime. Owners need not ever be arrested or convicted of a crime for their cash, cars, or even real estate to be taken away permanently by the government.”
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Initially the reason for this type of legislation was to prevent “large-scale criminal enterprises,” such as drug cartels, smuggling, etc.. However, as a result of the complicated legislative layers put in place by federal and state legislation, this has been greatly abused in order to benefit the police departments rather than to help prevent and punish crime. As, “many police departments use forfeiture to benefit their bottom lines, making seizures motivated by profit rather than crime-fighting.”
One objection which many made to the nomination of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General involved his advocacy for civil asset forfeiture, which was rather reflective of President Trump’s belief on the issue as well.
In a Facebook post, Congressman Amash wrote:
President Trump today endorsed stealing property from law-abiding Americans who haven't been charged with—let alone…
In response to these actions, Amash has promised to introduce a bill which would end this practice. Although the odds of it gaining traction, or even getting out of committee is low, it is important to see that Republicans and Democrats alike will be willing to challenging President Trump and the Jeff Sessions led Justice Department on this issue.
What do you think? Who is right on this issue? Should this practice remain in place? Let HYPELINE News know what you think in the comments!