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Kelo v. New London: How the Supreme Court Gutted Constitutional Protections for Private Property

Ten years ago today, the United States Supreme Court fundamentally changed the meaning and purpose of the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment, which allows for the use of eminent domain for “public use,” such as a road. But in a 5 to 4 decision, the Court ruled that eminent domain could be used to take property from a private citizen for purposes other than a public use.

06/23/2015
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Settlement: Another Arrow in the Government’s Civil Asset Forfeiture Quiver

Using civil asset forfeiture, the government often seizes the property of completely innocent individuals. However, despite their innocence, these individuals often settle with the government and forfeit a portion of their property to government authorities. Why do they do this?

06/12/2015
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Civil Asset Forfeiture: Grading the States

Civil asset forfeiture is a unique area of law in which the government charges specific property of being guilty of wrongdoing, rather than a person. Perhaps because the property is accused of wrongdoing, and not the person, governments often place lower standards of proof needed to forfeit the property. The procedures used by the federal government and many state governments creates grave Fourth and Fifth Amendment concerns.

06/08/2015
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Oklahoma lawmaker comes under fire for trying to protect innocent people's property

State Sen Kyle Loveless (R-Oklahoma City) recognizes that Oklahoma lacks adequate protections for innocent people whose property is seized by overzealous law enforcement. With the Oklahoma Legislature set to adjourn at the end of May, he decided to begin a conversation about civil asset forfeiture reform.

05/12/2015
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Federal agents stole $16,000 from a kid on his way to Los Angeles to make a music video

Joseph Rivers is a 22-year-old who has a dream of making a music video. With help from his supportive family, he persevered and saved, raising $16,000 in cash to leave his hometown in Michigan for Los Angeles to see his dream become reality.

05/07/2015
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Montana Governor signs legislation to protect innocent property owners from government overreach

There's big news out of Montana. Gov. Steve Bullock signed legislation on Tuesday to protect innocent people and their property from civil asset forfeiture abuse by overzealous law enforcement.

05/05/2015
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Can the Government “Take Its Cut” of Anything Produced?

Is the government able to require that you hand over a portion of your production to be able to enter a regulated marketplace? That is the main question in Horne v. Department of Agriculture, a case that was argued before the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

04/24/2015
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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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Wyoming lawmakers may take another shot at offering some protections for innocent people's property

The Wyoming Legislature, in February, passed, with overwhelming, bipartisan support, a strong bill that would have offered strong protections for innocent people whose property has been wrongfully seized by the government through the state's absolutely awful civil asset forfeiture laws. The bill would have required the government to win a criminal conviction before it could seize property believed to be used in crime.

04/20/2015
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Watch Mike Lee explain how abuse of civil asset forfeiture laws undermines the Constitution

On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held an important, long overdue hearing on federal civil asset forfeiture laws and the need for reform to curtail or end abuse by the Internal Revenue Service and federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.

04/17/2015

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