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Rand Paul Files Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #845)
Drug War Issues
Politics & Advocacy

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has filed a bill to reform federal asset forfeiture laws. Yesterday, he introduced the FAIR (Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration) ACT, Senate Bill 2644, which would require the government to prove with clear and convincing evidence that the property it wishes to forfeit is connected with a crime.

A modern form of highway robbery?
It also takes aim at state and local law enforcement agencies who evade state laws requiring that seized assets go into state general funds or other specified destinations by instead turning their seizures over to a federal agency, which delivers back 80% of the value of the seized goods to the local or state law enforcement agency involved.

The FAIR Act would require that state law enforcement agencies abide by state law when seizing property. It would also remove the profit incentive for forfeiture by redirecting forfeitures' assets from the Attorney General's Asset Forfeiture Fund to the Treasury's General Fund.

"The federal government has made it far too easy for government agencies to take and profit from the property of those who have not been convicted of a crime. The FAIR Act will ensure that government agencies no longer profit from taking the property of U.S. citizens without due process, while maintaining the ability of courts to order the surrender of proceeds of crime," Sen. Paul said.

The bill has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. As of today, it has no cosponsors.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


John M Williams (not verified)

I feel sorry for that!

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 4:20pm Permalink
jrididje (not verified)

In reply to by John M Williams (not verified)

I doubt you know much of economics Rand being anti war already makes him better on economics then anyone else . Military spending is created by the credit card of the central bank , this money is backed by nothing which causes the price of gold to rise which causes the worth of the dollar to drop which causes inflation and prices to rise while we get paid the same , causing much poverty and economic ruin.
Fri, 07/25/2014 - 6:41pm Permalink
dearsir (not verified)

In reply to by jrididje (not verified)

And which Nobel-prize winning economist do you base these conclusions on?

Anyone who says that war is bad economics hasn't studied history.  War is economically bad only if you lose outright or are unable to maintain your loan obligations / roll over debt.  Rome collapsed when victory no longer brought gold and slaves. The US fights wars in the middle east because it buys black gold.  Meanwhile, the money spent on the US Military provides several million jobs, countless medical advancements, and provides healthcare and paid college tuition for many of the poorest kids in the nation.  It is common sense that the people most likely spend cash are those who barely have enough money to pay the bills -- every dollar you give will be spent.  

"Money is backed by nothing ... causes the price of gold to rise"
this statement compares a constant to a variable. More money is backed by nothing every day, yes.  And so gold, which expands in supply more slowly than cash, will appreciate because there are more dollars per ounce of gold.  But what does the price of gold have to do with the price of a pair of pants or a loaf of bread?  Pretty much nothing.  Only investors and jewelers care about gold.  Those on the brink of poverty don't have investments, so the price of gold doesn't matter.  You've taken two unrelated variables -- price of gold and poverty rates -- and claimed a direct correlation out of thin air.  China has had relatively high inflation for years and poverty there is going way down.  Greece is facing deflation and poverty is skyrocketing.  Go ask a Greek or Spanish 20-something if he's worried about the price of gold and see if he/she gives a damn.

It is accepted by all mainstream economists that the federal reserve essentially forced the financial crisis that created the great depression by implementing the exact opposite policy that the Bernanke Fed implemented.  The world's greatest controlled study makes this clear: the US has had a declining unemployment rate for years now, and the EU is still facing youth unemployment upwards of 30%.  Guess whose central bank did something and guess which one did nothing?

Sat, 08/02/2014 - 2:00am Permalink
Mark Mitcham (not verified)

No co-sponsors?  Republicans and Democrats alike should be all over this.  Who is actually in favor of cops stealing shit?  Does it really matter whose shit it is?  Cops shouldn't be stealing, that's a no-brainer.

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 4:23pm Permalink
William Aiken (not verified)

The Law enforcement lobby has the ear of Washington and will spend millions to get these forfeiture laws expanded to cover more even assets that can be seized. Where are the lobbyists to oppose such corruption? They barely exist. I applaud Senator Paul for sponsoring this bill and stimulating a much needed debate. These asset forfeiture laws target those in our society with the least power and resources to fight these hideous laws, so the government gets away with screwing them. I don't expect this bill to pass, but I relish seeing these thieves and political cronies have to defend their lawless, criminal behavior. Put these law enforcement officials in front of someone like Rep. Steve Cohen and he'll embarrass them.

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 5:57pm Permalink
Anonymous510000 (not verified)

The asset forfeiture program is one more extension of the scam that is Drug Prohibition, wherein a people is made complicit in its own debasement and enslavement. Don't forget: the Drug War is the major tool being used to implement the illegal and unconstitutional spying, invasion of privacy, and yada yada yada... and of which bullshit the 'Patriot Act' tries in vain to sanctify. These oinking 'Sheriffs of Nottingham' will get their corresponding Robin Hoods, who will win out, one fine day! That's what the legends remind us. And those legends are a lot more believable than Rand Paul...

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 4:18pm Permalink

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