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Blog

Illinois: A State that Steals

Seventy-one-year-old grandmother, Judith Wiese, is just now getting back her car months after it was stolen. The thief? The state of Illinois.

01/21/2016
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Blog

A Small Victory Against EPA Overreach

On Friday, the EPA was dealt another loss by a federal judge as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit authorized a national stay against the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule under the Clean Water Act. This comes after a federal judge in North Dakota had already granted a preliminary injunction against the EPA in August, only a few hours before the rule was about to be implemented.

10/12/2015
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Blog

Michigan Voters Overwhelmingly Support Changes to Forfeiture Laws

In 1988, John Bennis was convicted of indecency in the state of Michigan for engaging with a prostitute in his car. He was fined a mere $250 for the incident, but his car was seized through a civil court order under a public nuisance claim. Bennis’s wife, Tina Bennis, was also a legal owner of the vehicle, but despite her shared interest in the car, the state denied her rights as partial owner.

10/02/2015
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Blog

No charges filed in more than a third of Oklahoma civil asset forfeiture cases

The presumption of innocence is a basic principle of the American legal system. Americans are presumed innocent of any allegations of illicit activity until proven guilty by the government in court. But this principle does not apply to civil asset forfeiture in most states, including Oklahoma.

09/02/2015
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House Judiciary Committee Revisits Kelo, Decides State of Property Rights Not Good

Ten years ago, the United States Supreme Court effectively scratched the line “for public use” from the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause, which allows the government to take and repurpose private property. The 5-4 decision in Kelo v. New London said that property may be taken from one private owner and given to another private owner if it will generate more revenue for the city.

07/10/2015
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Grassroots Response to Kelo Decision

Today represents the tenth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Kelo v. City of New London. The Supreme Court issues decisions in around eighty cases each year. Some of those decisions, like Kelo, are closely contested 5-4 decisions. But Kelo has been unique because of the response that came from the public.

06/23/2015
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Kelo v. New London: Central Planning Does Not Work, Ruins Lives

Last Thursday, the Cato Institute held an event foreshadowing the tenth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Kelo v. City of New London decision and celebrating the release of Ilya Somin’s new book, The Grasping Hand: “Kelo v. City of New London” & the Limits of Eminent Domain. There was an impressive cast of presenters with welcoming remarks by Richard Epstein, keynote delivered by Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) and panelists which included attorneys that represented both sides in oral arguments before the Supreme Court.

06/15/2015
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Op-ed Placement

Georgia’s New Civil Asset Forfeiture Law Does Not Go Far Enough

Jason Pye is the Director of Justice Reform for FreedomWorks. Jorge Marin is the Policy Specialist for Criminal Justice Reform for Americans for Tax Reform.

06/10/2015
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Civil Asset Forfeiture: Changing the Way the Police, Police

Law enforcement’s main duties are to keep the public safe and protect our persons and property. In many states, civil asset forfeiture creates a perverse incentive which can change the priorities that law enforcement pursues.

04/22/2015
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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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