Clarance Thomas on Civil Asset Forfeiture

“This system — where police can seize property with limited judicial oversight and retain it for their own use — has led to egregious and well-chronicled abuses,” wrote Thomas. “I am skeptical that this historical practice is capable of sustaining, as a constitutional matter, the contours of modern practice.”

Thomas went on to outline his concerns, noting that legal precedent ― most recently in the Supreme Court’s 1996 Bennis v. Michigan decision ― has been based largely on “early statutes” involving property related primarily to piracy and customs.
That's a good originalist objection: that the original justification for the practice no longer applies to the way the practice is currently being used. Piracy and customs involve things moving into the jurisdiction of the United States that, for example, you might have reason to believe were stolen goods. "Prove that these goods were not stolen if you want to bring them here" is much more reasonable than "prove that this money in your pocket was not stolen" when you and your money were always here. The burden of proof much more obviously falls on the government when the whole affair has happened within the jurisdiction of its courts and law enforcement officers.

1 comment:

Ymar Sakar said...

Obey the Law or Else. Obey the Police, or else you won't be protected.

Even though civilians and citizens were protecting police in the various riots in certain cities.

Obey your betters, because only police need to have guns and the judgment to decide who gets shot with them.

Humans are so corrupt that it doesn't even mean anything any more.