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  • Maryland’s Attempts to Cut Off NSA Utilities Are Unconstitutional

    Since the Edward Snowden leaks to The Guardian began last year, the National Security Agency (NSA) has been a political hot potato. Yet, whatever you think of the NSA, it is clearly a federal agency authorized by federal statute. Some lawmakers in the state of Maryland—home to the NSA’s headquarters … More

    Nebraska Cops Ordered to Pay $40k and Return $1 Million Seized from Innocent Woman

    Tara Mishra, 33, of Rancho Cucamonga, California, had her life turned upside down, her life savings taken, and her business plans quashed in March 2012 when police unlawfully seized just over $1 million from her during a traffic stop. Last July, U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Bataillon ordered police to … More

    Town Hall Meeting in Michigan: Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform

    The people of Royal Oak, Michigan, are working to reform civil asset forfeiture laws—something that is desperately needed across the country to protect innocent people and their property. On Thursday, the Royal Oak Public Library will host a town hall meeting, at which a panel of legislators and experts will … More

    Utah's New Law Helps Law Enforcement Nab Property of Innocent People

    In 2000, Utah voters took a major step toward protecting innocent property owners from abuses under the state’s civil forfeiture laws by passing Initiative B. Thirteen years later, the Utah legislature ignored the will of their constituents and—without debate—passed a new law that rolls back many of the original reforms. … More

    License, Registration—and All Your Valuables, Please

    Between 2006 and 2008, Tenaha, Texas, established itself as a hotbed for civil forfeiture abuse. Tenaha police executed dozens of traffic stops in which vast sums of money and property were seized, though no criminal charges were filed against drivers or passengers. Tenaha’s antics were so egregious that Texas lawmakers … More

    New Lawsuit Against Congressional Obamacare Exception Announced

    Senator Ron Johnson (R–WI) announced a lawsuit today challenging the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) illegal special treatment of Members of Congress and their staffs. Heritage laid the groundwork for this hugely important lawsuit. As it became clear that Members of Congress and their staffs would be forced to pay … More

    Innocent People Have Their Homes Seized in Philadelphia

    Philadelphia is known as the “City of Brotherly Love,” but for residents who have had their homes seized under the city’s civil forfeiture scheme, it hardly seems brotherly. Sisters Tracy and Sheila Clements lived together in their childhood home bequeathed to them by their mother. On April 21, 2010, their … More

    Senator Reid’s Special Obamacare Staff Exemption

    In case you didn’t think it could get any worse, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D–NV) is apparently exempting his congressional leadership and committee staff from Obamacare, which specifically provides that “notwithstanding any other provision of law, all Members of Congress and congressional staff shall enroll in a Federal health … More

    Bail Bond Bait and Switch: Police Seize Money from Innocent Mother

    As much as 90 percent of the currency circulating throughout the United States contains trace amounts of cocaine. No one would expect the police to claim someone’s money must be “dirty” based on trace presence of drugs alone. But that is exactly what law enforcement officers in Brown County, Wisconsin, … More

    Grand Theft Auto: D.C. Metro Edition

    Washington, D.C., is often described as being out of touch with the rest of the country. However, our nation’s capital and the rest of the country are in lockstep regarding civil forfeiture—the often-abused ability of the government to seize property involved in crimes. In May 2011, Frederick Simms was pulled … More