House Passes Amendment Rolling Back Jeff Sessions' Civil Asset Forfeiture Expansion

from the LOAD-LAST-SAVE? dept

Trump's pick for attorney general unsurprisingly holds the same ideals as his boss. He also holds the same misconceptions and misplaced nostalgia for tough-on-crime policing that went out of vogue as soon as it became apparent it wasn't doing anything but filling up prisons.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been going hot and heavy on a 1980s-esque law enforcement policy revival. He booted the DOJ off the civil rights beat, telling states and cities to solve their own police misconduct problems -- something they were clearly unwilling to do on their own, hence the DOJ's intercession. He told cops they're getting back their access to war gear, rolling back the Obama administration's minimal 1033 program reforms.

He's been touting tougher policing and tougher sentencing, using a false narrative of a country under siege by drug dealers and criminal border-jumpers. In a time of historic lows -- both in violent criminal activity and violence towards police officers -- AG Sessions is acting like a street corner preacher, promising an impending apocalypse to anyone who will listen.

Sessions is also peeling away federal reforms to asset forfeiture. He's opened the federal safety valve for civil forfeitures, allowing local PDs to dodge state laws limiting the amount of property they can take from uncharged citizens.

Given the makeup of Congress, one would assume Sessions' ongoing effort to raise US law enforcement to "a law unto itself" level would ride on rails, at least up until midterm elections. Instead, Sessions is facing a literal House divided -- not against itself exactly -- but against him.

In a stunning move, the House of Representatives on Tuesday approved an amendment to the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act that will roll back Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s expansion of asset forfeiture.

Amendment number 126 was sponsored by a bipartisan group of nine members, led by Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash. He was joined by Democratic Reps. Ro Khanna of California; Washington state’s Pramila Jayapal, a rising progressive star; and Hawaii’s Tulsi Gabbard.

If this passes the Senate untouched, the amendment will roll things back to 2015 -- once again prohibiting federal adoption of local forfeitures. It would make state and local agencies play by the rules set for them by their legislatures, rather than allow them to bypass protections put in place to discourage abuse of programs loaded with the most perverted of incentives.


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Sep 2017 @ 6:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Listen, everything Ive said is based upon my own personal experiences over the past 7 years I've been here...If they don't align with your political ideologies, then that's you're own problem.

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