by Jon Guze
Senior Fellow, Legal Studies, John Locke Foundation
In a post entitled “Red State Forfeiture Bills Signal Bipartisan Push for Justice Reform,” Adam Bates reports on efforts by Republicans in Texas and Oklahoma to do away with civil asset forfeiture. While these and similar Republican proposals are very welcome, talk of a bipartisanship seems a bit premature.
As an example of the Democratic contribution to criminal justice reform, Bates cites the change in DOJ forfeiture policy that Eric Holder announced in January. However, as Bates himself acknowledges, the changes instituted by Holder are subject to many major “exceptions and potential loopholes,” and Loretta Lynch, Holder’s presumptive successor, is, herself, “an advocate and practitioner of civil asset forfeiture.”
Criminal justice reform certainly ought to be a bipartisan priority, but whether it actually will be remains to be seen.