civil asset forfeiture

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Congress Unanimously Slams Jeff Sessions Over Seizure Policy

A rare bipartisan rebuke of the Trump administration.

Credit: Gage Skidmore.

The House of Representatives yesterday voted to curb federal asset forfeitures, the practice of seizing money and private property from people who are suspected of illegal activity but who have not necessarily been charged. The House measure, which passed by a virtually unanimous voice vote, would defund a federal asset forfeiture program reinstated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Obama-era AG Eric Holder had previously taken steps to restrict the program, with exceptions for public safety reasons.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers approved Amendment 126 to the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act, that will roll back Sessions' expansion of civil asset forfeiture. This group, led by Representative Justin Amash (R-MI), also included Representatives Ro Khanna (D-CA), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Don Beyer (D-VA), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Mark Sanford (R-SC), Raúl Labrador (R-ID), and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA).

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