House defunds attorney general’s expansion civil forfeiture

ADI NEWS SERVICES

Arizona’s law enforcement agencies have come under scrutiny for the misuse of RICO funds, and today, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved three amendments late Tuesday that would defund the notorious federal forfeiture program that was recently restored by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

“Civil forfeiture is one of the greatest threats to private property rights,” said Institute for Justice Attorney Robert Everett Johnson. “But today, hundreds of members of Congress came together and voted to block an alarming expansion of this government power.”

Sponsored by Reps. Justin Amash, Tim Walberg, and Jamie Raskin and co-sponsored by Reps. Steve Cohen, Jim Sensenbrenner, and Mark Sanford, the amendments address so-called “adoptive” seizures and forfeitures. Under the federal adoption program, state and local law enforcement can seize property without filing criminal charges, and then transfer the seized property to federal prosecutors for forfeiture under federal law. Local and state agencies can collect up to 80 percent of the forfeiture proceeds.

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