Date: September 14, 2017
“The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved an amendment to the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act that will roll back Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s expansion of asset forfeiture.
Amendment No. 126 was sponsored by a bipartisan group of nine members, led by Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich. He was joined by Democratic Reps. Ro Khanna of California; Washington state’s Pramila Jayapal, a rising progressive star; and Hawaii’s Tulsi Gabbard.
Civil asset forfeiture is a practice in which law enforcement can take assets from a person who is suspected of a crime, even without a charge or conviction. Sessions revived the Justice Department’s Equitable Sharing Program, which allowed state and local police agencies to take assets and then give them to the federal government — which would in turn give a chunk back to local police. This served as a way for these local agencies to skirt past state laws designed to limit asset forfeiture.