A victory in our fight to end civil asset forfeiture abuses

September 15, 2017

Dear Friends,

I wanted to share with you a bright spot this week in our nation’s capital – a victory in our fight to end the unconstitutional practice of civil asset forfeiture.

While designed to crackdown on large drug cartels and crime syndicates, in reality, civil asset forfeiture allows law enforcement to seize private possessions without due process. Before a conviction or even arrest, law enforcement officials can legally confiscate property. Seized property can also be kept and sold, providing a perverse incentive to expand the practice—and predictably, that is what happens.

The Obama administration took steps to rein in such abuses, but now Jeff Sessions is rolling back these important reforms.

In response, this week I joined Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) in offering an amendment that would stop Sessions in his tracks—and it passed the GOP-controlled House. The provision still must pass the Senate and clear Trump’s desk, but regardless, this is a positive step forward. Click here to learn more.

At minimum, the Obama administration’s progress should be reinstated. For the sake of a fair and equal criminal justice system, more must be done. We must stay vigilant in our efforts to reform civil asset forfeiture laws and to ensure that government agencies are held accountable for the property they seize.


Earl Blumenauer

Member of Congress