Saturday, January 17, 2015

Today's Good News: The Attorney General Curbs Local Police From Taking Civil Assets

Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the widespread practice of police seizing money and assets, such as vehicles, from people they stop without a warrant and without proving a crime will no longer be shielded by federal law.  His move drew bipartisan support from Congress.

Until now, police could seize assets they thought were suspicious and keep them, if they shared a portion with the federal government, and be protected by federal law.  By greatly restricting the circumstances of such seizures, Holder eliminates the incentive that some departments had succumbed to to get a significant part of their annual budget from asset seizures.

The Washington Post reported that "the Institute for Justice and other libertarian-leaning groups teamed up with the American Civil Liberties Union and left-leaning groups to press for changes in the wake of the Post's investigation."


3 comments:

Mac said...

Note the proponents: "the Institute for Justice and other libertarian-leaning groups teamed up with the American Civil Liberties Union and left-leaning groups to press for changes in the wake of the Post's investigation."

This is all smoke and mirrors. All that will change is that the criminals (these seizures are triggered by the use of a house or car or stash of cash in furtherance of a crime) is that the police will get an order from the local court to seize the assets. One more example of a politicized Justice Department adding to the smoke and mirrors of what promises to be the least appropriate State of the Union message in decades. It is all about the Obama legacy--not the state of our Union.

Gruntled said...

Due process is a right and an essential component of a just society. Requiring police to convince a judge that there is a reason for a seizure, and then that the assets are, in fact, actually related to a crime, is a huge step forward.

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