Agencies Seized Retiree’s Life Savings Because He Carried It in Cash

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Abusive Civil Forfeiture Law, Allows Police to Keep $201,000 in Cash from Legal Home Sale with No Proof of Criminal Activity

[Most Judges, including Supreme Court Justices, are appointed for life – during good behavior. The Justices who have refused to uphold the Constitution in this case are guilty of Bad Behavior, and they should be removed. – Bob]

By John Whitehead – RE-Blogged From Freedom Outpost

In refusing to hear a challenge to Texas’ asset forfeiture law, the U.S. Supreme Court is allowing Texas police to keep $201,000 in cash primarily on the basis that the seized cash—the proceeds of a home sale—was being transported on a highway associated with illegal drug trade, despite any proof of illegal activity by the owner. Asset forfeiture laws, which have come under intense scrutiny and criticism in recent years, allow the police to seize property “suspected” of being connected to criminal activity without having to prove the owner of the property is guilty of a criminal offense.

Lisa Leonard, the owner of the $201,000, had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to compel Texas to return her money, given that she was innocent of any crime. In a written opinion that denounced the profit incentives that drive asset forfeiture schemes, Justice Clarence Thomas concluded, “This system—where police can seize property with limited judicial oversight and retain it for their own use—has led to egregious and well-chronicled abuses.”

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Obama Just Gave Cops the OK to Simply Take Your Stuff

By Ilya Shapiro & RJ Meyer – Re-Blogged From http://www.Cato.org

When Attorney General Loretta Lynch decided late last year that the Justice Department would end the federal civil-asset forfeiture program, criminal-justice reform advocates proclaimed it a “significant deal.”

But late last month, less than four months later, the Obama administration reversed itself and reinstated the Asset Forfeiture Fund’s Orwellian “equitable sharing” program.

That’s a shame, particularly when the only supporters of the policy are the law-enforcement agencies that directly benefit from it. Indeed, the federal program’s combined annual revenue has grown more than 1,000 percent in the last 15 years, filling the coffers of federal, state and local police departments.

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Great News: New Mexico’s Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill Signed by Governor

– Ree-Blogged From http://reason.com

Actual criminal conviction will be required to take citizens’ property in New Mexico.

Waiting to pretty much the last possible moment, Republican New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has signed into law House Bill 560, the state’s broad asset forfeiture reform legislation. The bill, introduced by Republican Rep. Zachary Cook, had complete bipartisan approval in the state’s split House (controlled by Republicans) and Senate (controlled by Democrats). Nobody voted against it.

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Justice for All: FreedomWorks’ 5 Principles for a Better Justice System

By Jason Pye – Re-Blogged From http://www.FreedomWorks.org

The American justice system is collapsing under its own weight. Big government policies passed by Congress have led to a justice system that traps nonviolent offenders in an endless cycle. This deprives them of economic opportunities and costs taxpayers billions of dollars each year. The Internal Revenue Service and law enforcement agencies at all levels of government have run roughshod over private property rights and due process through abuse of civil asset forfeiture.

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Stop Asset Seizures

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

The 4th Amendment to the US Constitution (part of the Bill of Rights) says in part, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated….

And, the 5th Amendment says in part, “No person shall… be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.

However! Every day, federal, state, and local governments violate these Constitutional Rights. IRS agents routinely seize bank accounts

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