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HomeIllinois NewsTrump Does Not Know What Civil Forfeiture Is, but He Likes It

Trump Does Not Know What Civil Forfeiture Is, but He Likes It



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Sometimes the cops are the robbers. Jacob Sullum writes: “In a meeting with county sheriffs from around the country on Tuesday, President Trump jokingly (we hope!) threatened to ‘destroy [the] career’ of a Texas legislator who proposed requiring the government to obtain a conviction before taking property allegedly tied to crime. As Nick Gillespie noted, Trump’s knee-jerk support for civil asset forfeiture is troubling, especially in light of a growing bipartisan consensus that the practice should be reformed or abolished because it hurts innocent property owners and warps law enforcement priorities. Worse, the White House transcriptof the president’s remarks about forfeiture shows he literally does not know what he is talking about, which suggests this ‘law and order’ president is happy to go along with whatever cops want, even if he has no idea what it is.” [Reason]

If President Trump doesn’t understand the problem of civil asset forfeiture, he can get a good introduction to the topic by taking three minutes and fifty seconds to watch the Institute for Justice’s video “The Forfeiture Machine Turns Cops into Robbers.” It’s a good video for everybody to watch, too.


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  1. With the Left and their allies in the news media criticizing every little aspect of President Trump and his administration, I was reluctant to criticize him over this, but I’m glad you brought it up.
    Civil forfeiture by police agencies seems little different than the ham-handed theft of citizen property of King George’s Redcoats. That, as much as anything, sparked the citizens’ revolt that led to our Republic.
    Suburban parents have been known to have their cars confiscated when cops found their kids with a tiny bit of pot in the glove compartment.
    This is wild overreach by government authorities and should be stopped. The fact that Trump signed off on this makes me yearn for the days when President Reagan thoughtfully remarked that “Libertarianism is the heart and soul of modern American conservatism.”
    Lynn Nofziger personally told me that President Reagan, himself, injected that phrase into a speech.
    I wish that Trump were as grounded in conservative thought as Ronald Reagan was.