We’re happy to announce that we’ll be working with the newly formed Right on Crime policy project on asset forfeiture reform! Right on Crime is a project of the Texas Public Policy project, and represents one of the few serious conservative efforts to engage criminal justice issues. Over at Reason Magazine, Radley Balko notes:
…the project is driven by serious argument, thoughtful policies, and honest discussion. It’s a refreshing and important addition to the public debate. I hope the big names who have lent the site quotes and endorsements will also provide some cover for Republican politicians and policy makers to consider heterodox positions. If that happens, for the first time in a generation we could have a real public discussion about crime.
We might remind readers that the American conservative movement is one of the places where asset forfeiture reform finds its most fervent supporters, including and especially the late Representative Henry Hyde from Illinois. Hyde introduced asset forfeiture reform legislation in Congress as early as 1993, an effort that culminated seven years later with the passage of the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000. We hope to see a reform movement again form, and conservatives of all stripes are a vital part of that effort.
I might more broadly note that asset forfeiture reform is an effort that finds traction at almost every point along the political spectrum. Only the most extreme ideologies support the notion that government can arbitrarily take property from citizens without due process and for its own sustenance.
Next month, you’ll find me (and perhaps a couple other AFR staff members) at the Conservative Political Action Conference (February 10-12) and the 2011 International Students for Liberty Conference (February 18-20). Both conferences are in Washington DC; leave a comment if you’d like to say hi at either one.