(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Representatives Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and Tim Walberg (R-MI) today introduced sweeping reforms to our nation's civil asset forfeiture laws to defend due process and rein in unjust seizures of private property. H.R. 1895, the Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration Act (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.
“Due process and property rights are foundational principles of the American experiment, and we should not stand for innocent Americans having their personal property wrongfully seized,” said Walberg. “In recent weeks, we have seen positive steps taken at the state level and in the courts to curb civil asset forfeiture abuse. Now it is time for Congress to act and codify meaningful reforms at the federal level. Our bipartisan legislation unites the political spectrum and includes the comprehensive reforms we need to uphold the American people’s constitutional rights.”
“Due process means the government can’t take your body, your rights, or your property without a fair process, the presumption of innocence, and the opportunity to be heard. But the lawless seizure and ‘forfeiture’ of people’s private property is now standard operating procedure in far too many police jurisdictions across the country, as vividly detailed by an excellent Greenville News investigative reporting series called ‘Taken.’ Reforming America’s civil asset forfeiture laws is a constitutional imperative that goes right to the heart of our Bill of Rights. I’m proud to introduce this important bipartisan legislation with Rep. Walberg to rein in the nation’s reckless asset forfeiture policies,” said Raskin.
Additional original co-sponsors of the FAIR Act include: Reps. Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Tom McClintock (R-CA), and Bobby Rush (D-IL). The text of H.R. 1895 is available