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Blog

Virginia Takes a Step in the Right Direction to Protect Private Property

Private property rights protections are a little stronger today in the Commonwealth of Virginia. On Friday, Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed legislation that increases the evidentiary standard in civil asset forfeiture cases. Though a lot of work remains to reform Virginia's civil asset forfeiture laws, action on this bill is a step in the right direction.

04/07/2016
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Blog

Support Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform in Virginia

Civil asset forfeiture laws throughout the country are in need of substantial reform in order to protect citizens’ basic rights. Asset forfeiture practice consistently tramples over the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution by violating due process rights. Not only does this practice violate crucial provisions of the Bill of Rights, but it also violates Article 1, Section 11 of the Virginia Constitution which states, “That no person shall be deprived of his life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

02/25/2016
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Blog

Legislation in Virginia Protects Property Owners from Government Overreach

In 2012, Mandrel Stuart was stopped by Fairfax County police and detained without charges because his SUV had tinted windows. Not only was he handcuffed, but he was stripped of $17,550 in cash. Mr. Stuart intended to use that cash for equipment and supplies for his barbecue restaurant in Staunton, Virginia. After hiring a lawyer, a jury determined in 2013 that he was entitled to his money. However, he lost his restaurant in the process due to the financial stress of the circumstances.

02/17/2016
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Blog

FreedomWorks Activists Educate Virginia State Senator on Civil Asset Forfeiture

Monday, October 19 was an interesting day for justice reform in Virginia! I was pleased to gather with activists from the Southwest Virginia Tea Party at the Shoney's in Bristol, Virginia to talk about justice reform. We then traveled to the county courthouse for a GOP meeting where their state senator, Bill Carrico was going to address questions asked in the letters he has been receiving about civil asset forfeiture. On October 8, we had gathered to write letters to Senator Carrico.

10/20/2015
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Blog

How Over-Regulation Kills Opportunity

Much of the Bill of Rights is dedicated to protecting accused persons, an action integral to our society. Expanding upon the Sixth Amendment’s granted right to legal counsel, states have put legislation in place that strictly dictates who can practice law. While such regulations aim to protect citizens, they have adverse effects and actually abridge the freedoms we hold dear.

05/29/2015
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Blog

Virginia Senate fails to protect innocent people from civil asset forfeiture abuse

Innocent Virginia residents are still at risk of having their property wrongfully taken through civil asset forfeiture after the Virginia Senate, on Wednesday, tabled a common sense bill that would have required a criminal conviction property believed to be connected to a crime could be forfeited to the government.

04/16/2015
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Blog

Time is running out to protect innocent Virginia property owners from civil asset forfeiture

On Wednesday, the Virginia General Assembly will meet in Richmond for its annual veto session, in which lawmakers will weigh nearly 70 pieces of legislation vetoed or amended by the Governor. Among the bills that will be considered is SB 721, to which an amendment has been offered to require a criminal conviction before the government can take property believed to be used in an illicit activity.

04/15/2015
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Blog

Why won't Virginia's top Republican stand with principled conservatives like Rand Paul and Mike Lee?

While some Republicans on the national level -- such as Rand Paul and Mike Lee -- are working diligently to reform the nation's civil asset forfeiture laws, Virginia Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment (R-James City) has failed to protect innocent people and their property from this pernicious form of government overreach.

04/08/2015
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Blog

Unlikely alliance in Virginia could lead to strong reforms to protect property

Members of the Virginia General Assembly will have a second chance to limit civil asset forfeiture when they reconvene in Richmond on Wednesday, April 15, rekindling a "weird alliance" that features the Commonwealth's chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and Tea Party groups.

04/07/2015
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Op-ed Placement

Bratonomics: Inside David Brat’s Economic Worldview

This week, an economics professor from a small liberal arts college in Virginia did something no one else has ever done: He handily defeated the sitting House Majority Leader in a primary election.

06/14/2014

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