Property rights are among the fundamental elements of a free society and a free economy. Since 1984, CEI has defended these principles by opposing public policies that sound great, do little, and ultimately harm the common good.
Civil forfeiture has become a significant government intrusion in recent years. While it remains a viable instrument for federal agents enforcing customs laws and fighting international crime, misguided policies and misaligned incentives foster abuses and raise grave constitutional concerns.
Each year, federal and state forfeiture programs allow law enforcement to seize more than $3 billion in cash and property from thousands of people – often without ever charging them with a crime. There are also serious questions as to whether civil courts using lower burdens of proof are the appropriate means to enforce government anti-crime policies.
Civil forfeiture further jeopardizes the relationship between police and their communities when vulnerable residents who cannot afford to challenge small-value seizures are targeted. There are also questionable benefits when financially-stressed departments prioritize revenue-generating forfeitures over arrests, drug interdiction, and crime-fighting.
CEI is addressing these issues through its new Forfeiture Reform Initiative: engaging federal and state policymakers to implement much-needed reforms and educating the public about their constitutional rights to stop improper seizures in the first place.
No person should have to fear for their property while engaged in lawful activities or lose it without ever being convicted of a crime.
Every year, law enforcement officers seize billions of dollars in cash and property from the public. Mostly, these seizures take place without any proof of…
A recent episode of Archer featured a dialogue between two FBI agents, both riding on jet skis, chasing a wrongdoer’s boat. Agent One: Whoohoo!…
Some state governments have been acting as if the Fifth Amendment’s requirement of just compensation doesn’t apply in the course of collection of government debts.
USA Today cited the Competitive Enterprise Institute about the dangers to personal freedoms and privacy for third-party information to be available to law enforcement without requiring a…
Townhall covers CEI’s support of the CLOUD Act of 2018. Cloud storage and computing is an emerging technology increasingly in use worldwide.
Tribune quoted CEI on the point in which union fees used to fund national conventions is an inherently political activity. In what portends…
Blockchain is a software architecture that seems very likely to unleash profound global forces if it crosses over into the mainstream.
JD Supra covers an amicus brief by CEI in Coinbase v. United States. As the price of bitcoin leaps and lurches toward new highs,…
2017 has been a banner year for advancing free market policies across the board on energy, climate, and environmental issues.