On Tuesday, February 7, 2017, at a meeting with sheriffs, President Trump commented about ruining the career of a Texas legislator that proposed a bill to reform civil asset forfeiture.
The legislator was unnamed and there are several Texas legislators currently proposing bills to reform civil asset forfeiture laws.
Such laws vary by state but in many states, it is legal for law enforcement officials to seize property from someone before they are convicted of any crime and then even keep that property even if the person is found innocent.
There have been many cases documented that show how this practice can be abused and, for every case documented, there are countless others that are not.
The Libertarian Party thinks that the current practice of civil asset forfeiture is completely unfair and un-American.
Libertarian National Committee Chair, Nicholas Sarwark, says, “Civil asset forfeiture is nothing more than legalized theft by the government. Basic fairness and justice requires that there be a criminal conviction before someone’s assets can be taken for being proceeds of a crime.”
Sarwark continues, “This legalized theft has been a driver of the failed war on drugs. Thank you to the Texas legislators reforming our system to protect the property of innocent people from being stolen by the government. Our President and his nominee for Attorney General should be ashamed of continuing this immoral policy of legalized theft and bullying legislators who stand up for their constituents.”
He concludes, “When bullies don’t have an argument, they use threats to try to get their way. Such pathetic behavior from the President is sad, but not surprising.”
Senator Jeff Sessions, President Trump’s nominee for Attorney General, has been an outspoken advocate for civil asset forfeiture and has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate.