Off-Topic: Clarence Thomas Casts Doubt on the Constitutionality of Civil Forfeiture

Livinglies's Weblog

http://dailysignal.com/2017/03/10/clarence-thomas-casts-doubt-on-the-constitutionality-of-civil-forfeiture/

This week, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas signaled his belief that civil asset forfeiture laws have strayed too far from their narrow historical precedent and questioned whether “modern civil-forfeiture statutes can be squared with the Due Process Clause and our nation’s history.”

The news stems from a case, Lisa Olivia Leonard v. Texas, which—like so many forfeiture cases—began along the side of a road.

James Leonard, the petitioner’s son, was stopped for a traffic violation along what Thomas’ statement describes as a “known drug corridor.” Leonard’s vehicle was subjected to a search, which turned up a safe in the trunk.

Officers reported that Leonard and his passenger gave “conflicting stories” as to its contents, though Leonard noted it belonged to his mother, Lisa Leonard. Police executed a search warranted, discovered $201,100 in cash and “a bill of sale for a Pennsylvania home” inside, and seized the…

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