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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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Blog

Texas Republican legislator introduces bill to ban civil asset forfeiture

Texas has been a national leader on justice reform, passing and implementing landmark programs that have led to significant cost-savings for taxpayers, lower crime, and decreased repeat offender rates. Though the Lone Star State has proven that justice reform works, which is why some lawmakers in Congress are trying to replicate these efforts, it has lagged on another related aspect: civil asset forfeiture reform.

03/30/2015
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Civil Forfeiture Reform: States Have Led, More Need to Follow

Under civil asset forfeiture, the government can take someone’s property without convicting them of a crime. The law has its basis in British admiralty law and makes little sense in today’s modern world. While there are has been some discussion of reforming forfeiture at the federal level, the states are leading the charge to reform. However, more reforms are needed at the state and federal level, and can be based on the reforms already implemented in some states.

03/25/2015
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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

A Case You Should Know About From Each Circuit Court: Part 2

Covering one decision from Circuits 6 through 11, this article is Part 2 of a collection of court cases that you should know about. Court activism throughout the country affects you and your rights so take a glance at the cases below to see the precedents being established that are threatening your civil liberties.

08/01/2014
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Blog

The Foxiness of Property Rights

Pierson v. Post, one of the first cases studied in law classes, is a story about a couple of New York hunters, a fox, and a lucky catch back in 1805. And yet, 200 years after the decision was made, this case is viewed as a cornerstone of how America views private property rights.

06/16/2014
Oregon Land Use Law - 40 Years Of Failed Planning
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Blog

Oregon Land Use Law - 40 Years Of Failed Planning

On May 29, 1973, popular and iconic Republican Governor Tom McCall, famous for his environmental advocacy and anti-development rhetoric (“I urge them to come and come many, many times to enjoy the beauty of Oregon. But I also ask them, for heaven’s sake, don’t move here to live.”), signed into law Oregon's transformational land use legislation that made virtually every land use decision subject to review by state agencies.

06/05/2013