Armstrong Joins Bipartisan Push to Reform Civil Asset Forfeiture Laws
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) joined Congressmen Tim Walberg (R-MI) and Jamie Raskin (D-MD) to reintroduce the Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration Act (FAIR Act), a series of sweeping reforms to our nation’s civil asset forfeiture laws. The FAIR Act, H.R. 2857, will raise the level of proof necessary for the federal government to seize property, reform the IRS structuring statute to protect innocent small business owners, and increase transparency and congressional oversight.
“Civil asset forfeiture is an important tool, but it needs drastic reform,” said Congressman Armstrong. “Innocent until proven guilty has little meaning if law enforcement can seize all of your assets before you ever appear in a court on a criminal charge. This bill takes important steps such as ending equitable sharing and providing additional due process to protect private property from unjust seizure. I am honored to cosponsor this bipartisan bill.”
“Under the current system, it is too easy for the government to seize a citizen’s private property without ever charging them with a crime,” said Congressman Walberg. “We have been sounding the alarm about civil asset forfeiture abuse for years, and meaningful reforms are long overdue at the federal level. The FAIR Act brings much-needed change to the status quo. Our legislation provides critical protections for all Americans and their right to due process under the Constitution, and I thank my colleagues for their leadership on this bipartisan effort.”
“Reforming America’s civil asset forfeiture laws is a constitutional imperative that goes right to the heart of our Bill of Rights,” said Congressman Raskin. “I’m thrilled to reintroduce the FAIR Act with Congressman Walberg. I thank our colleagues for joining this bipartisan effort to uphold due process rights and rein in the nation’s reckless asset forfeiture policies.”
Joining Armstrong, Walberg, and Raskin as original co-sponsors of the FAIR Act are Reps. Bobby Rush (D-IL), Tom McClintock (R-CA), and Tony Cárdenas (D-CA).
The text of H.R. 2857 is available here.