Friday, January 16, 2015

Another Major Move by AG Holder

Just a couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the need to reform a relic of the war on drugs: civil asset forfeiture. Today Attorney General Eric Holder did just that.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Friday barred local and state police from using federal law to seize cash, cars and other property without evidence that a crime occurred.

Holder’s action represents the most sweeping check on police power to confiscate personal property since the seizures began three decades ago as part of the war on drugs...

The program has enabled local and state police to make seizures and then have them “adopted” by federal agencies, which share in the proceeds. The program allowed police departments and drug task forces to keep up to 80 percent of the proceeds of the adopted seizures, with the rest going to federal agencies.

“With this new policy, effective immediately, the Justice Department is taking an important step to prohibit federal agency adoptions of state and local seizures, except for public safety reasons,” Holder said in a statement.
Holder allowed exceptions for illegal firearms, ammunition, explosives and property associated with child pornography - which makes sense. And there are still state and local laws that enable forfeiture. But many of those require that proceeds go into a general fund rather than directly to law enforcement.

This is a perfect example of how President Obama's administration can continue to incentivize reform at the federal and state level regardless of what Congress will/won't do.

Well done AG Holder!!!!


  1. Obama, Biden, Holder, Kerry. What an amazing team.

  2. But but but isn't this the dreaded administration that violates the 4th amendment over and over with metadata? How ever can this be explained???

    Seriously - this is great because abuses of power over confiscations prior to proving crime at all have been a part of very bad police work for too long. Well done, indeed, Mr. AG.