Earlier in the week, President Donald Trump voiced concerns over efforts to curb the use of civil asset forfeiture. “I’d like to look into that. There’s no reason for that,” Trump said.
Civil asset forfeiture is “a process by which the government can take and sell your property without ever convicting, or even charging, you with a crime.” Under this practice, the state will typically take people’s cash, cars, and other valuable possessions it may unilaterally deem as being an asset to a crime.
The practice is arguably unconstitutional and a clear breach of libertarian property ethics. The state may seize any asset it believes, or wants to believe, was used an an accessory in a crime, and may hang onto it indefinitely. The property owner must then prove his innocence, instead of the state proving his guilt.
When Congressman Justin Amash (R-MI) got wind of Trump’s comments, he felt emboldened to act. The Michigan Congressman announced earlier today that he intends on introducing legislation which would abolish civil asset forfeiture, writing on Facebook:
“President Trump today endorsed stealing property from law-abiding Americans who haven’t been charged with—let alone convicted of—any crime. He also said, ‘We’ll destroy his career,’ about a conservative Texas state senator who opposes this unconstitutional civil asset forfeiture.
My staff and I will work to introduce a bill to end civil asset forfeiture. I always will stand up for limited government, economic freedom, and individual liberty. And I always will keep my oath to support and defend the Constitution.”
Image from Associated Press