Arlington, Va. – Generation Opportunity today joined organizations urging Congress to enact civil asset forfeiture reform that will protect against unjust and unconstitutional government overreach.
Click here to read the full letter, and see below for select excerpts:
‘On behalf of the undersigned organizations dedicated to the protection of civil liberties and private property, we write to express our deep disappointment with the Department of Justice’s announcement that it will expand civil forfeiture. We urge you to take swift action to reform this broken system….
‘….The need for forfeiture reform is recognized across the political and ideological spectrum, and throughout the nation. Both the Republican and Democratic Party platforms in 2016 called for civil forfeiture reform, and recent polls show 84% of voters oppose the practice. Indeed 59% of Americans who voted for President Trump believed that police should not be able to seize property from individuals who are never prosecuted. This groundswell of support for reform has led 24 states, in the last three years, to pass new laws rolling back civil forfeiture.
‘The Department of Justice’s decision to increase the use of civil forfeiture runs wholly contrary to this national consensus. Most egregiously, the Department of Justice has reversed the ban on using so called “adoptive” seizures, where state and local law enforcement can seize property under state law and transfer it to federal prosecutors for forfeiture, in exchange for up to 80 percent of the proceeds.”
‘These adoptive seizures are an affront to our nation’s federalist system because they allow state and local law enforcement to use federal forfeiture laws to circumvent state-law limitations. This approach directly undermines the states and communities that Senators and Representatives represent and weakens our nation’s self-governance.’
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced this week that the U.S. Department of Justice will be issuing a new directive to increase the practice known as civil asset forfeiture. Civil asset forfeiture allows law enforcement to seize property that they suspect is connected to criminal activity or that represents the profits of wrongdoing, all without ever convicting or even charging the property owner with a crime.
If you are interested in speaking with a Generation Opportunity representative about this issue please contact Clay Sutton at firstname.lastname@example.org.