(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday unanimously approved a bipartisan amendment offered by Representatives Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and Tim Walberg (R-MI) that reins in the federal government’s power to seize private property without due process. The amendment prohibits funding for the Department of Justice to continue a practice known as adoptive seizures, a loophole that local law enforcement can use to circumvent state forfeiture laws.
“I’m thrilled that the House unanimously passed this bipartisan amendment to close the adoptive seizures loophole,” said Rep. Raskin. “Reforming America’s civil asset forfeiture laws is a constitutional imperative that goes right to the heart of our Bill of Rights, and I look forward to advancing the FAIR Act with Congressman Walberg.”
“For many years, I have worked in a bipartisan way to shine a light on civil asset forfeiture abuses,” said Rep. Walberg. “This amendment takes important steps to halt the practice of adoptive seizures, and it provides critical protections for all Americans and their right to due process under the Constitution. Ultimately, Congress must cement more comprehensive reforms into law, and I look forward to continuing my work with Congressman Raskin to advance the Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration Act.”
Earlier this year, Walberg and Raskin introduced the Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration Act (FAIR Act), a series of sweeping reforms to our nation’s civil asset forfeiture laws. The FAIR Act will raise the level of proof necessary for the federal government to seize property, reform the IRS structuring statute to protect innocent small business owners, and increase transparency and congressional oversight.