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Blog

Barack Obama signs new executive order that could put innocent Americans' property at risk

The steps the administration had taken to rein abuse of civil asset forfeiture were undermined on Wednesday when President Barack Obama signed an executive order that ignores Fifth Amendment protections for due process, authorizing the seizure of property from those who are merely suspected of cyber-crime.

04/03/2015
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Blog

Civil Asset Forfeiture: When Due Process and Property Rights Don’t Count

On February 6 the Federalist Society held as Civil Asset Forfeiture Update on Capitol Hill with the American Civil Liberties Union and the Institute for Justice as cosponsors. The event was held to bring more awareness to the issue which has been in the news lately with Eric Holder’s limiting order (which will leave around 86% federal civil seizure unaffected), recent legislative efforts and late night television skits. The event featured a diverse panel consisting of: Darpana Sheth (IJ), Kanya Bennett (ACLU), David Smith (Smith & Zimmerman PLLC) and Bill Piper (Drug Policy Alliance).

02/09/2015
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Blog

The Fourth Amendment is NOT a Useless Piece of Paper

This title was adopted from a line by Justice Sotomayor during the recent Supreme Court oral arguments in Rodriguez v. United States. Over time there has been an encroachment on our Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches, as Justice Sotomayor also said, “. . . we can’t keep bending the Fourth Amendment to the resources of law enforcement.” It is time for the courts to push back and protect our constitutional rights. Fortunately, two recent cases, one at the Supreme Court and another at the circuit level, have given great opportunities to do just this.

02/02/2015
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Blog

A State of the Union address full of stale, terrible ideas and poor leadership

President Barack Obama delivered his sixth State of the Union address to Congress last night, laying out a litany of mostly terrible policy proposals, as well as attempting to defend his economic record. There's no denying that he's a strong orator who tells a story very well, but the substance of the speech itself was more of the same stale ideas and poor leadership that Americans have seen throughout the course of his presidency. Though there are plenty of policy items worthy of analysis, here are some lines that stuck out.

01/21/2015
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Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Approved in D.C. Legislature

On Tuesday, the D.C. Council unanimously endorsed a bill that aims to seriously reform the practice of civil asset forfeiture by the Metropolitan Police Department. The second and final vote on the measure will take place December 2.

11/20/2014
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Blog

VA Judge: Law Enforcement Can Compel Fingerprint to Unlock Cell Phone

An interesting ruling regarding cell phone privacy has emerged from a Virginia Circuit Court. Judge Steven Frucci of Virginia’s 2nd Judicial Circuit has ruled that law enforcement can compel someone to unlock his cellphone by fingerprint identification, but cannot compel one to divulge his passcode in order to unlock the device.

11/13/2014
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Supreme Court October 2014 Term Preview

The Supreme Court will begin its next term October 6 and will hear cases into June 2015. So far, the Court has accepted about 40 cases, which is about half of the expected argument docket.

10/06/2014
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Civil Liberties At Home

08/27/2014
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FreedomWorks University Civil Liberties "Protest"

08/14/2014
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FreedomWorks University Civil Liberties: "In Your Car"

08/07/2014

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