We've all become accustomed to the police increasing their ticket-writing to backfill their budgets, writes Steven Greenhut, but civil forfeiture laws have taken the profiteering to a new and disturbing level. If, for instance, your neighbor borrowed your green Buick and sold some marijuana to an undercover agent, the law enforcement agency can seize the car. The owner might not have done anything wrong, but the car was indeed used in the commission of a crime. And law enforcement knows that it's so costly for people to fight their forfeiture proceedings that many victims simply cede the property without a fight. As Greenhut explains, the time has come to build a wall of separation between government power and the profit motive.
Officials claim doing business is a revocable “privilege,” but many Americans see it as a right that they’ll exercise with or without licenses and permits.
Without 'Much More Aggressive Shutdowns,' The New York Times Warns, COVID-19 Could Kill 'Well Over a Million' Americans
That scenario seems highly implausible based on what we know about the epidemic.
He Wanted To Make Some Money for School Clothes by Selling Mexican Street Corn. The Government Says He Owes $1,415 in Permit Fees.
"I just wanted to help out my community and family," said Miguel Lozano.
To the extent that the accusations against Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse get into specifics, they're pretty dubious.