Tag Archive: Unconstitutional


How Asset Forfeiture Allows Cops To Steal From Citizens

 

 

 

 

” It probably seemed like a bright idea at the time: Let the police seize the ill-gotten gains of alleged drug dealers and other suspected criminals and sell it, using the proceeds to buy much-needed crime-fighting gear.

  Unfortunately, the process—civil asset forfeiture—did not require convicting anybody of a crime. In fact, it didn’t even require charging anybody with a crime. Not surprisingly, this led to rampant abuse, which has been abundantly documented for many years. Various reform efforts, including a 2000 federal law, have been unable to stop what’s become known as policing for profit.

  But Virginia lawmaker Mark Cole is going to give it another shot. That’s as good a sign as any that civil asset forfeiture has jumped the shark. “

 

 

  We wish Mr Cole good luck . Legalized theft , aka civil asset forfeiture , is an abuse that is completely incompatible with the spirit of America as well as being blatantly unconstitutional .

 

Reason

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This Is How The Feds Illegally Obtain Evidence Of A Crime And Lie About It In Court

 

 

 

” The president continues to dispatch his National Security Agency (NSA) spies as if he were a law unto himself, and Congress—which is also being spied upon—has done nothing to protect the right to privacy that the Fourth Amendment was written to ensure. Congress has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution, yet it has failed miserably to do so. But the spying is now so entrenched in government that a sinister and largely unnoticed problem lurks beneath the surface.

  NSA documents released by Edward Snowden show that the feds seriously deceived Congress and the courts in an effort to spy upon all of us and to use the gathered materials in criminal prosecutions, even though they told federal judges they would not. Among the more nefarious procedures the feds have engaged in is something called “parallel reconstruction.” This procedure seeks to hide the true and original source of information about a criminal defendant when it was obtained unlawfully.

  Thus, in order to maintain the facade of spying only for domestic intelligence purposes, and to appear faithful to public and secret promises (the FISA court only sits in secret) that any evidence of criminal behavior inadvertently discovered by NSA spies will not be used in criminal prosecutions, and so as to keep the mechanisms of domestic spying hidden from non-FISA federal judges who are more likely to apply normative interpretations of the Fourth Amendment than their FISA court colleagues, the NSA and the DOJ began the process of parallel reconstruction.

  Parallel reconstruction consists largely of the creation of a false beginning—an untrue one—of the acquisition of evidence. This, of course, is criminal. Lawyers and agents for the NSA and DOJ may no more lawfully lie to federal judges and criminal defense attorneys about the true origins of evidence than may a bank robber who testifies in his own defense claiming to have been at Mass at the time of the robbery.

  While parallel reconstruction is deceptive, unlawful and unconstitutional, I suspect it is but the tip of a dangerous iceberg spawned by the unbridled NSA spying that Bush and Obama have given us. When you mix a lack of fidelity to the plain meaning of the Constitution with a legal fiction, and then add in a drumbeat of fear, enforced secrecy, and billions of unaccounted-for taxpayer dollars, you get a dangerous stew of unintended tyrannical consequences.”

 

Read the whole thing at Reason

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 For The Record: “Seized”

 

 

Published on Sep 29, 2014

” A little known law that allows the IRS and law enforcement to empty bank accounts and seize personal property without warning or proof of a crime.

  Could you be their next target? Find on Wednesday’s episode of For the Record at 8PM ET.

  Watch full episodes of For The Record on demand with a subscription to TheBlaze TV:http://theblaze.com/fortherecord “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Government Self-Interest Corrupted A Crime-Fighting Tool Into An Evil

 

 

” Last week, The Post published a series of in-depth articles about the abuses spawned by the law enforcement practice known as civil asset forfeiture. As two people who were heavily involved in the creation of the asset forfeiture initiative at the Justice Department in the 1980s, we find it particularly painful to watch as the heavy hand of government goes amok. The program began with good intentions but now, having failed in both purpose and execution, it should be abolished.

  Asset forfeiture was conceived as a way to cut into the profit motive that fueled rampant drug trafficking by cartels and other criminal enterprises, in order to fight the social evils of drug dealing and abuse. Over time, however, the tactic has turned into an evil itself, with the corruption it engendered among government and law enforcement coming to clearly outweigh any benefits.

  Then, in 1986, the concept was expanded to include not only cash earned illegally but also purchases or investments made with that money, creating a whole scheme of new crimes that could be prosecuted as “money laundering.” The property eligible for seizure was further expanded to include “instrumentalities” in the trafficking of drugs, such as cars or even jewelry. Eventually, more than 200 crimes beyond drugs came to be included in the forfeiture scheme.

  The Asset Forfeiture Reform Act was enacted in 2000 to rein in abuses, but virtually nothing has changed. This is because civil forfeiture is fundamentally at odds with our judicial system and notions of fairness. It is unreformable.

 Civil asset forfeiture and money-laundering laws are gross perversions of the status of government amid a free citizenry. The individual is the font of sovereignty in our constitutional republic, and it is unacceptable that a citizen should have to “prove” anything to the government. If the government has probable cause of a violation of law, then let a warrant be issued. And if the government has proof beyond a reasonable doubt of guilt, let that guilt be proclaimed by 12 peers.”

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York State Gun Owners Expect Few To Register Under New Law

 

 

register Nothing

 

 

 

” Many New York gun owners expect the April 15 deadline to register assault weapons under the state’s strict new law to be largely ignored. 

“ People are pretty much convinced once they get on this registration, the next time they’ll say they’ve got to turn them in,” said Stephen Aldstadt, president of the Shooters Committee on Political Education, who helped organize a protest at the Capitol this past week against the law.

  The state’s SAFE Act, spearheaded by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and passed in the wake of the 2012 school shooting in neighboring Connecticut, bans New York sales of semi-automatic weapons with detachable magazines and one military-style feature.

  For an estimated 1 million older guns already owned by New Yorkers, including popular AR-15s, the law requires registration. State police have established simple online registrations but refuse to say how many they’ve received. Cuomo, when asked, said he didn’t know.

  Critics say that’s because hardly anyone is signing up. Aldstadt said his group, which counts more than 300,000 members statewide, isn’t telling people to disobey the law. But some owners have said they won’t do it, while others are removing features, such as pistol grips, from their semi-automatics so they won’t meet the state’s definition of an assault weapon. 

“ I refuse to comply,” said Jeff Tutuska, a graphic artist from West Seneca who was among a few thousand at the Capitol protest. He held a sign saying: “I’d rather have it & not need it than need it & not have it.”

  Reuben Tompkins, 59, of Greenville, said he didn’t know of anyone who planned to register a gun under the new law. “I hope nobody does,” he said. “

 

 

 

We’ll let an American of considerably great stature than Andy Cuomo have the last word :

 

 

 “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.”

 

 

 

 

    So as you can see , we are only doing our civic duty as told by none other than the third president of the US , Thomas Jefferson.

Read on and take heart … you are not alone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Court: California Concealed-Weapons Rules Violate 2nd Amendment

 

 

 

 

 

 

” A divided federal appeals court on Thursday struck down California concealed-weapons rules, saying they violate the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

  The 2-1 ruling of a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said California counties were wrong to require law-abiding applicants to show “good cause” beyond self-defense to receive a concealed-weapons permit.

  California prohibits people from carrying handguns in public without a concealed-weapons permit. State law requires applicants to show good moral character, have good cause and take a training course. It is generally up to the state’s sheriffs and police chiefs to issue the permits, and the vast majority require an applicant to demonstrate a real danger or other reasons beyond simple self-defense to receive a permit. The 9th Circuit on Thursday said that requirement violates the 2nd Amendment.

  The San Francisco-based appeals court said those requirements were too strict and ran afoul of a 5-4 landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2008 that struck down a Washington, D.C., handgun ban and said law-abiding citizens are allowed to have handguns in their home for self-defense.

The right to bear arms includes the right to carry an operable firearm outside the home for the lawful purpose of self-defense,” Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote for the majority.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still Locking People Up For Being Poor? Really?! It’s 2014

 

 

 

” Debtors’ prisons sound like ancient history, right? Unfortunately, they’re all too common across the United States. In spite of the Constitution, case law, and common sense, low-income people are routinely jailed in places as far-flung as Georgia and Washington State simply because they cannot afford to pay their court fines.

  Let’s define court fines, because it’s kind of shocking. “Court fines” could be as little as a couple hundred bucks because someone was pulled over while driving with an expired license. If you’ve just been laid off and have kids to feed, it might be hard to find a couple hundred extra bucks in your budget. Well, that can send you to lock up.

  Not only does it cost the community quite a bit to jail someone (usually way in excess of the fine), but locking people up can trap them in the vicious cycle of poverty, debt, and incarceration that typifies the modern day debtors’ prison. Individuals incarcerated because they can’t pay minor court fines have lost their jobs, been evicted from their housing, suffered serious declines in their health, and faced family crises.

  Not only are debtors’ prisons wildly bad public policy, they are unconstitutional. And yet thousands of people are still beaten down by the justice system simply because they cannot pay their fines.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video: Ben Swann on RT America “Guns Are Not Driving The Violence In Chicago”

 

 

Published on Jan 7, 2014

” A federal judge Monday overturned Chicago’s ban on handgun sales and transfers within the city. The ordinance, passed by the city council in 2010, “goes too far in outright banning legal buyers and legal dealers from engaging in lawful acquisitions and lawful sales of firearm,” US District Court Judge Edmond E. Chang wrote. The law outlawed gun shops and prohibited gun owners from taking firearms outside their homes. RT’s Ameera David talks to investigative journalist Ben Swann about what the ruling means for Second Amendment rights going forward.”

 

Read more at BenSwann.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Administration Faces Backlash Over New ObamaCare Exemptions

 

 

 

” The Obama administration, in an 11th-hour change, announced significant exemptions for people who recently lost their insurance coverage and are struggling to get a new plan — drawing immediate criticism from the insurance industry and Republican lawmakers. 

  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius confirmed the changes, which include letting those individuals skirt the law’s individual mandate, in a letter to senators. She said she would allow people who got cancellations and could not find affordable new coverage to qualify for a “hardship exemption” in order to avoid a penalty next year for not having insurance. 

  Further, she announced that those individuals will be able to purchase bare-bones plans that until now were available only for people under 30. 

  The move, though, to allow potentially hundreds of thousands of people to sign up for “catastrophic” coverage plans was criticized by the insurance industry as a shift that would cause “tremendous instability.” “

 

Illustration by Gary Varvel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kerry To Sign UN Arms Treaty, Despite Senators’ Opposition

 

 

 

 

” Secretary of State John Kerry plans to sign a controversial U.N. treaty on arms regulation on Wednesday, a senior State Department official told Fox News — despite warnings from lawmakers that the Senate will not ratify the agreement. 

A State official said the treaty would “reduce the risk that international transfers of conventional arms will be used to carry out the world’s worst crimes,” while protecting gun rights. 

“The treaty builds on decades of cooperative efforts to stem the international, illegal, and illicit trade in conventional weapons that benefits terrorists and rogue agents,” the official said. 

U.S. lawmakers, though, have long claimed that the treaty could lead to new gun control measures. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., one of the most vocal opponents of the treaty, sent a letter to Kerry declaring it “dead in the water,” since a majority of senators has gone on record against the agreement.”

Don’t Look Now But Washington DC May Actually Reform Civil Asset Forfeiture

” Washington D.C. city council members are considering a bill that would give D.C. residents the strongest protections against the abuse of civil asset forfeiture in the country. Currently, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) seizes millions of dollars of property from thousands of people each year—and keeps 100 percent of the profits.

Unlike with criminal forfeiture, where the government seizes assets after convicting someone of a crime, with civil forfeiture there is no legal requirement to prove a crime was committed or even to file criminal charges. Instead, once police confiscate property, the burden is on the owner to prove innocence. Property owners who can’t afford a legal battle or whose property is worth less than court costs often simply relinquish their property by default.”

Obama’s $62 billion unconstitutional maneuver

  ” The Obama administration disguised last week’s edict delaying
the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate as administrative
tweaking. White House advisor Valerie Jarrett told reporters
the impact would be miniscule, because 95 percent of employers
subject to the mandate already provide coverage. Don’t be
fooled by that figure. The delay could add over $60 billion to the
cost of Obamacare in 2014 alone, affect 10 million workers, and
double enrollment on the exchanges.

  Few bills debated in Congress affect that many people or cost that much. The delay will cost
more than the annual budget for Medicare Part D prescription drug program . Shockingly, the
administration failed to consult Congress or provide an iota of candor about why the delay was
necessary.”

Posted by John Galt

Colin Quinn’s Hilarious Sit-Down Interview With Sean Hannity

 

Colin_Quinn_,_Unconstitutional

 

 

 

” Actor Colin Quinn sat down for an interview with Sean Hannity that’ll having youlaughing for days. The former Saturday Night Live cast member is currently starring in a one-man show on Broadway called ‘Unconstitutional.’ The show, which Quinn also wrote, is a comedic take on the writing of the Constitution and how it has shaped American mentality.

Quinn countered Hannity’s opinion that America is in a post-Constitutional era. In his own research, Quinn said he realized why the historical document is so relevant today. “Even when Reese Witherspoon gets arrested, she’s screaming, ‘I’m a citizen,’ because we all just have that mentality.”

He said, “For some reason almost everybody in this country, as divided as it is, […] everybody kind of believes the Constitution is still a pretty amazing document. That’s pretty impressive.”  

Watch the funny interview above! “

 

 

 

 

 

 

NY Sheriffs Join Together To Sue Gov. Cuomo For Infringing Gun Rights

 

 

” Sheriffs are so concerned about enforcement issues, that the New York State Sheriffs’ Association, along with five individually named sheriffs, is planning to support a lawsuit that the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, Inc. filed against Governor Cuomo.

 “It’s an unenforceable law. I believe it will ultimately be declared to be unconstitutional.”

As far as Howard and his fellow sheriffs are concerned, existing laws provided sheriffs and the public with all the protection they need against gun crimes.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Military ‘Power Grab’ Goes Into Effect

 

 

 

 

” The manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects offered the nation a window into the stunning military-style capabilities of our local law enforcement agencies. For the past 30 years, police departments throughout the United States have benefitted from the government’s largesse in the form of military weaponry and training, incentives offered in the ongoing “War on Drugs.” For the average citizen watching events such as the intense pursuit of the Tsarnaev brothers on television, it would be difficult to discern between fully outfitted police SWAT teams and the military.

The lines blurred even further Monday as a new dynamic was introduced to the militarization of domestic law enforcement. By making a few subtle changes to a regulation in the U.S. Code titled“Defense Support of Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies” the military has quietly granted itself the ability to police the streets without obtaining prior local or state consent, upending a precedent that has been in place for more than two centuries.

The most objectionable aspect of the regulatory change is the inclusion of vague language that permits military intervention in the event of “civil disturbances.” According to the rule:

Federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the President is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances.

Bruce Afran, a civil liberties attorney and constitutional law professor at Rutgers University, calls the rule, “a wanton power grab by the military,” and says, “It’s quite shocking actually because it violates the long-standing presumption that the military is under civilian control.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cuomo’s Shameful SAFE Act

 

 

 

 

” All things being equal, New York State’s infamous new gun laws will go down in history as a prime example of the folly of hysterical calls to action; and Governor Andrew Cuomo, who led the chase for the measures, will join them in disgrace. After 20 children were killed in Newtown, Conn., last December, progressives saw a golden opportunity to reverse the liberalizing tide of recent firearms law and leverage the national outrage in favor of long-desired gun-control codes. Freed by his reelection, the president declared, in an increasingly tiresome formulation, “Now is the time to do the right thing for our children, our communities, and the country we love.” In Albany, it appears that the governor took him literally.

Legislation cast in the wake of tragedy invariably carries with it the stench of the mob, and when it’s contrived in haste to protect “the children,” this is doubly so. Parliaments and institutions might protect us from the sight of angry, rash, pitchfork-wielding villagers in search of blood, but, however sanitized our politics have become, the impulse of rabble-rousing politicos is the same: Something must be done, it must be done right this second, and all naysayers are on the side of the monster. Wise men understand this, and they act to cool passions. Andrew Cuomo, we have learned in recent months, is not a wise man. His signature now adorns a law that has proven unworkable from start to finish. Next time we are told that we cannot wait for democracy or reflection to soothe passions, we might remember the course that New York has taken.”

 

 

 

 

 

UN Prepares To Finalize Global Arms Trade Treaty: Gun Owners To Take It On The Chin?

 

 

 

 

 

” On Monday, in New York City, the United Nations kicked off its final round of negotiations on its comprehensive global arms trade treaty agreement.

In preparation for the talks, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed his optimism in a statement released last week that all 193 Member State will “overcome their differences and muster the political will needed to agree on this landmark treaty.”

While it’s unclear what the final draft of the ATT will look like, Ban Ki-moon said that he expects it to include regulations on both weapons and ammunition, from “small arms to tanks to combat aircraft.”

“I reiterate my support for an Arms Trade Treaty that regulates international transfers of both weapons and ammunition and provides for common standards for exporting States. These standards are important for assessing the risks that transferred weapons are not used to fuel conflict, arm criminals or abet violations of international humanitarian or human rights law,” said Ban ki-moon.

Ban Ki-moon also noted that this treaty was only the beginning, a launching pad for more expansive regulations down the road.”

 

 

 

Federal Judge Finds National Security Letters Unconstitutional, Bans Them

 

 

 

 

” Ultra-secret national security letters that come with a gag order on the recipient are an unconstitutional impingement on free speech, a federal judge in California ruled in a decision released Friday.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ordered the government to stop issuing so-called NSLs across the board, in a stunning defeat for the Obama administration’s surveillance practices. She also ordered the government to cease enforcing the gag provision in any other cases. However, she stayed her order for 90 days to give the government a chance to appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

“We are very pleased that the Court recognized the fatal constitutional shortcomings of the NSL statute,” said Matt Zimmerman, senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which filed a challenge to NSLs on behalf of an unknown telecom that received an NSL in 2011. “The government’s gags have truncated the public debate on these controversial surveillance tools. Our client looks forward to the day when it can publicly discuss its experience.” “

 

 

 

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You Can Help Defeat Proposed U.N. Arms Trade Treaty

 

 

” Just as NRA warned would happen, following last November’s presidential election, the Obama administration immediately moved forward with its plans to support a United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.  On Wednesday November 7, the U.S. Mission to the U.N. made clear its support for renewed ATT negotiations, casting a vote in favor of a resolution that calls for a “Final United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty” to be held in New York City from March 18-28.

If signed, the ATT would be a legally binding treaty that would require parties to the treaty to adhere to the treaty’s provisions, many of which (as proposed in a month-long meeting last July) are incompatible with our Second Amendment rights.  For the treaty to be ratified it would have to be approved by a two-thirds vote in the U.S. Senate.  During the July ATT conference, NRA conducted a successful campaign to stop the treaty.”

 

 

 

 

Thousands Attend Day Of Resistance Rallies In Support Of Second Amendment [photos]

 

View image on Twitter

 

 

” Thousands across the nation gathered today to mark Day of Resistance, an event sparked by President Obama’s signing in December of 23 executive actions on “gun violence reduction.” The president and his staff hand-picked four children to join him on stage to plead their case, but as more and more legislators at the state and national levels push for extensive restrictions on gun ownership, plenty of Americans would like to have their say as well, even if they have to brave the elements to do it.”

 

 

Appeals Court Panel Rules Obama Recess Appointments To Labor Board Are Unconstitutional

 

                                     
Merriam-Webster's Definition of RECESS APPOINTMENT:
 An appointment made by a president of the U.S. under his constitutional powers to fill vacancies when the Senate is not in session subject to later confirmation by the Senate

 

” In an embarrassing setback for President Barack Obama, a federal appeals court panel ruled that he violated the Constitution in making recess appointments last year, a decision that would effectively curtail a president’s ability to bypass the Senate to fill administration vacancies.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said that Obama did not have the power to make three recess appointments last year to the National Labor Relations Board because the Senate was officially in session — and not in recess — at the time. If the decision stands, it could invalidate hundreds of board decisions .

The court said the president could only fill vacancies with the recess appointment procedure if the openings arise when the Senate is in an official recess, which it defined as the break between sessions of Congress.

The ruling also threw into question Obama’s recess appointment of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Cordray’s appointment, also made at the same time, has been challenged in a separate case. “

MO Democratic Bill Will Force Parents to Notify Schools If They Own a Gun

 

 

“This act requires a parent or guardian to notify a school district, or the governing body of a private or charter school, that he or she owns a firearm within 30 days of enrolling the child in school or becoming the owner of a firearm.”

 

 

 

Half of U.S. States Refuse Insurance
Exchanges, Pose Threat to Obamacare

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” The Daily Caller has published a report that suggests that Obamacare is under serious threat, due to half of states refusing
to establish healthcare exchanges. The article suggests a pressure point for the massive healthcare program that could send the legislation back to the Supreme
Court. “

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