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As Senator, Joe Biden Pioneered Unconstitutional Civil Asset Forfeiture Targeting Minorities

Civil asset forfeiture is loathed by civil liberties reformers on the left and the right.

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Presidential contender Joe Biden is trying to make himself seem palatable for the radical socialist base of the Democratic Party to be its nominee to take on Trump in 2020, but his record – including blazing the trail for civil asset forfeiture nationally – is proving quite problematic.

Then-Senator Joe Biden introduced the Comprehensive Forfeiture Act in 1983 to give federal agents sweeping new powers to seize assets from private citizens before they were convicted of a crime.

The following year, the 1984 Comprehensive Crime Control Act supported by Biden got state and local law enforcement into the unconstitutional mix by creating the “equitable sharing” program to give them up to 80 percent of the moneys from assets seized by the feds, to further facilitate the practice across the nation.

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These Biden-backed laws were an egregious assault on the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution by taking a suspect’s property without the due process of law. Biden’s tough-on-crime posturing has resulted in some of the most heinous abuses in U.S. history, with minorities often being the target.

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One such example of a racially-biased abuse was toward Shukree Simmons, an African-American, who had $3,700 seized from him from a car sale after he was pulled over despite police finding no evidence of a crime. Ella Bromell, a 72-year-old African-American widow, had her home seized because drug dealers she did not know committed a crime near her lawn.

Reformers on the Left and the Right despise civil asset forfeiture, and have been fighting to end the practice for decades.

“When the government can transfer property from citizens to the state without proving wrongdoing, there is clearly something wrong,” said Jarrett Skorup, a policy analyst with the conservative Mackinac Center in Michigan. “The foundation of good government is private property rights and the rule of law — civil forfeiture violates both of these.”

“The state should not be able to forfeit property unless it has convicted someone of a crime,” said Dan Korobkin, deputy legal director with the ACLU of Michigan. “This process is an end-run around the U.S. Constitution and legislators should reform the process.”

“Letting law enforcement agencies keep what they seize creates a powerful incentive to pursue profit instead of public safety,” said Lee McGrath, senior legislative counsel at the libertarian-leaning Institute for Justice. “Free from legislative oversight, civil forfeiture demonstrates the dangers of letting the same agencies hold both the purse and the sword.”

Biden’s legacy, which includes support for the Iraq war, support of Wall Street deregulation, and support for a “three strikes” criminal justice bill that contributed greatly to mass incarceration in addition to being a civil asset forfeiture trailblazer, are making it difficult for the career politician to appeal to the radical Left on the rise in the Democratic fold.

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Campaign 2020

DESPERATION: Never Trumpers Float Romney/Bloomberg as ‘the Unity Ticket America Deserves’

How pathetic are these guys?

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The “Never Trump” brain trust over at The Bulwark has unveiled their antidote to stop the President they hate so much in this year’s election: a “unity ticket” consisting of Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) as a presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as his running mate.

Author Neal Simon made the argument that this potential third-party ticket would appeal to independents in an op/ed published on Monday.

“Senator Romney’s entrance into the presidential race wouldn’t just give the vital center of the electorate a home—it would stand a chance to break a system that is stacked against independents and third party candidates,” Simon argued.

He compared Romney’s potential to that of French President Emmanuel Macron, the reviled ruler who has populist Yellow Vest protesters rioting against his unpopular style of governance every weekend.

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“And as Emmanuel Macron showed in France, standing up a new party and winning a presidential election in one motion is not impossible,” Simon wrote.

Simon posited that by putting Bloomberg on his ticket as Vice President, Romney could essentially buy the election, which is what Bloomberg is basically trying to do right now with his run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“A Romney-Bloomberg ticket would be a first in modern American politics: A bipartisan unity ticket running under the banner of an independent third party,” he wrote.

Simon’s premise is predicated off of an assumption that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will win the Democrat presidential nomination. He believes that populism taking over the Republican and Democrat parties would open the door for a centrist revolution that could be led by Romney and Bloomberg.

“It would give both disgruntled Republicans who feel their party has become lost in Trump’s personality cult and Democrats who feel their party is lurching too far left towards a socialist revolution a voice on the ballot that reflects a popular idea of how the country should be run,” he concluded.

Simon, who was a failed independent candidate in the state of Maryland for the U.S. Senate in 2018, recently published a book titled, “Contract to Unite America: Ten Reforms to Reclaim Our Republic.” He is using the words of George Washington in his manifesto to defeat the new age of populist politics and return to the days of old.

“Capitalizing on personal insight derived from Simon’s political campaign along with extensive research, Contract to Unite America provides specific, practical solutions for an improved government and a better tomorrow,” Simon’s book description reads.

Unfortunately for Simon and the “Bulwark” neocons, the public has had enough of status quo politicians and does not want to return to the George W. Bush era. The dream ticket of Romney/Bloomberg is not likely to come to fruition.

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