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Blog

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

The United States Government seized more from private citizens than burglars in 2014. Current federal laws regarding civil asset forfeiture are overstepping private property rights under the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution. Under the Fifth Amendment it is the obligation of government to provide evidence against private individuals whereas current civil asset forfeiture laws require private citizens to prove innocence. Civil Asset Forfeiture, where government confiscation is acceptable if it’s in the name of protecting the United States against drug lords by taking away private property.

6 days ago
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Blog

States Lead the Way on Criminal Justice Reform

Over the past several months, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a step back on federal justice reform efforts, regressing to purportedly “tough on crime” stances. From advising increased penalties for nonviolent offenders to more recently promising an increase in the use of civil asset forfeiture by the federal government, Sessions has been doing everything in his power to give the Department of Justice (DOJ)’s full support to 80s-era policies from which many conservatives have abandoned in favor of evidenced-based practices that reduce recidivism and enhance public safety.

07/24/2017
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Press Release

Jeff Sessions’ Push for Civil Asset Forfeiture Should Concern Conservatives

FreedomWorks Vice President of Legislative Affairs Jason Pye released the following statement on the recent action from Attorney General Jeff Sessions to increase the power of law enforcement to confiscate property of people who are innocent until proven guilty:

07/19/2017
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Blog

Making the IRS Treat Americans with RESPECT

Civil asset forfeiture, a tool used by law enforcement to seize property from individuals because they have merely been accused of a crime, has gotten a lot more scrutiny in recent days due to its lack of oversight and abuse. What many may not know though is that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) also has the ability to seize property from businesses it is investigating. Fortunately, to address the abuses by the organization, Tax Policy Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) have introduced a bill to defend business owners from IRS forfeiture overreach.

07/17/2017
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Blog

Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform is Coming to Illinois

On June 23rd, the Illinois General Assembly passed a major Civil Asset Forfeiture reform bill, which is currently awaiting Governor Bruce Rauner’s signature. If vetoed, the bill is still likely to be enacted since it received full support in the senate and all but one vote in the house which is more than enough for a veto override. HB 303, if passed, would effectively reform the state’s Civil Asset Forfeiture laws by shifting the burden of proof from the citizens to the government and instead increasing it “from probable cause to a preponderance of evidence.”

06/29/2017
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Blog

Support Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform in Pennsylvania

On behalf of our activist community in Pennsylvania, I urge you to contact your representatives and ask them to support the Senate Bill 8, introduced by Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon). This bill, which passed the state Senate in April, would transform current civil asset forfeiture procedure in Pennsylvania to better protect private property and due process.

06/14/2017
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Op-ed Placement

While Congress Stalls, Conservatives Are Scoring Big Wins at the State Level

As Congress returns from recess, we hold out hope that they will make better use of this session than the last one and work to fulfill their campaign promises. But even while politicians in the House and Senate were away from Washington this week, state legislatures remained active.

04/25/2017
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Blog

Support the DUE PROCESS Act, H.R. 1795

On behalf of FreedomWorks’ activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and strongly encourage him or her to cosponsor the Deterring Undue Enforcement by Protecting Rights of Citizens from Excessive Searches and Seizures (DUE PROCESS) Act, H.R. 1795, introduced by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.). The DUE PROCESS Act includes changes to federal forfeiture laws that fail to protect innocent Americans.

03/30/2017
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Blog

Justice Clarence Thomas Takes On Civil Asset Forfeiture

In a recent statement on behalf of the US Supreme Court, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas critiqued civil asset forfeiture and the abuses it has seen over the past several issues. In that statement, Justice Thomas said, “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.” The statement comes at a time when civil asset forfeiture, or the lawful seizure of assets from individuals without due process, has gained much more attention in the modern day as calls for reform have increased.

03/23/2017
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Blog

Support the Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration (FAIR) Act, S. 642 and H.R. 1555

On behalf of our activist community, I urge you to contact your senators and representatives and ask them to cosponsor the Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration (FAIR) Act, S. 642 and H.R. 1555, introduced by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.). The FAIR Act would reform federal civil asset forfeiture laws to increase the evidentiary standard needed to subject property to permanent seizure and restore the presumption of innocence in federal civil forfeiture proceedings.

03/16/2017

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