Bipartisan Congress blocks Jeff Sessions' plan to revive civil asset forfeiture

Civil asset forfeiture allows police departments to confiscate and keep property they claim results from criminal activity, without having to prove that any criminal activity took place — this turned into a national scourge, until cops were stealing more from Americans than burglars, until the Obama administration shut down the DoJ's enabling program in 2015.

But Trump vowed to reinstate asset forfeiture, saying he saw "no reason" for any limits on forfeiture. In July, Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinstated the program, over howls of protest from the Republicans' own libertarian wing.

As those Republicans (and others) have found themselves more and more disgusted with Trump (though, shit, it's only now that they're figuring out that Trump is neither good for liberty, nor conservative values?), they're now in open rebellion.

On Tuesday, a Republican-led, bipartisan Congressional coalition voted in an amendment to the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act which prohibits Jeff Sessions' DoJ from spending money on legalized police theft.

Amash, the prime mover of the amendment, spoke forcefully in favor of the Obama-era rules on the House floor and the need to bring them back.

"Unfortunately these restrictions were revoked in June of this year. My amendment would restore them by prohibiting the use of funds to do adoptive forfeitures that were banned under the 2015 rules," he explained.

Virginia Democratic Rep. Don Beyer reached across the aisle to voice support for Amash's effort "Civil asset forfeiture without limits presents one of the strongest threats to our civil, property, and Constitutional rights," he said on the flood. "It creates a perverse incentive to seek profits over justice."

The amendment passed with a voice vote, meaning it had overwhelming support.

[Zaid Jilani/The Intercept]

(Image: Trump's Hair)