Sunday, August 14, 2016

Civil Asset Forfeiture's Latest Victims


FreedomWorks Foundation Drives More Than 21,000 Responses on New Rules Proposed by the Department of Education

FreedomWorks Foundation drove more than 21,000 responses against new rules proposed by the U.S. Department of Education that would implement parts of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that was passed by Congress in December 2015 and signed into law by President Barack Obama. The comment period for the proposed rules ended on Monday, August 1.

State education officials have decried the proposed rules as overly prescriptive. As noted in multiple hearings conducted by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the proposed rules leave a loophole open that could allow the federal government to resume trying to impose Common Core on the states contrary to the intent of the ESSA.

“The response from our activists shows that the American people are ready and willing to hold federal regulators accountable. Through the tools provided by FreedomWorks Foundation, our grassroots activists have made clear that these regulations seeking to circumvent federal law are unacceptable,” said Ken Cuccinelli, general counsel of FreedomWorks Foundation’s Regulatory Action Center. “The Department of Education should take the hint and leave control of education decisions with the states.” Read more here...

FreedomWorks' Book Club Spotlight: "Our Lost Constitution: The Willful Subversion of America's Founding Document"

In Our Lost Constitution, Senator Mike Lee tells the dramatic, little-known stories behind six of the Constitution’s most indispensable provisions. He shows their rise. He shows their fall. And he makes vividly clear how nearly every abuse of federal power today is rooted in neglect of this Lost Constitution. Get your copy here...

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton Wrong on Infrastructure Spending

- by FreedomWorks Senior Economic Contributor Stephen Moore via The Washington Times

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump don’t agree on much of anything, but there is one area where they have a meeting of the minds: they both want to spend way more on public works programs. Hillary Clinton says that her primary jobs stimulus will be a massive $275 billion-plus infrastructure spending binge. Donald Trump one-upped Hillary last week promising to spend twice that amount. He says the money is necessary because of crumbling roads and “bridges that are falling down.”

It’s a rare source of agreement, so wouldn’t you know it: they’re both wrong.

If our infrastructure is crumbling, it surely isn’t because the federal government is spending too little money. Public works projects were supposed to be the centerpiece of the Obama $830 billion stimulus bill. We were promised “shovel-ready” jobs. Remember that? But job growth has remained abysmal for seven years. So what happened to all that money? No one in Washington wants to ask or answer. Read more here...

Civil Asset Forfeiture Leaves Bronx Family Facing Eviction

- via Reason

A Bronx family is facing eviction after the New York City Police Department raided their apartment and seized more than $2,000 in cash they were saving for rent, The Village Voice reported Tuesday.

NYPD officers burst into an apartment on May 16, looking for a parolee who was a friend of one of the residents. They found and arrested their man, but after the arrest, the officers began searching the rest of the apartment. Read more here...

Return of the Death Spiral: ObamaCare Faces 'Meltdown' in 2017

- via Breitbart

Whoever wins the White House in 2016 will have the pleasure of dealing with an ObamaCare crisis that The Hill describes as an impending “meltdown,” although we already had a perfectly good name for it: the ObamaCare Death Spiral.

The fourth ObamaCare signup period begins about one week before Election Day, and it will end about one week before inauguration on Jan. 20. After mounting complaints from big insurers about losing money this year, the results could serve as a kind of judgment day for ObamaCare, experts say.  Read more here...

Lesson of the Week
The justice system shows little distinction between juvenile offenders and adults, but there are unique challenges we face when dealing with the young. A youthful indiscretion can lead to a criminal conviction that separates a child from his parents and permanently cripples his chances of becoming a productive member of society. Watch it here...

Illegal Federal Endangered Species Regulation Actually Harms Endangered Species

- by Kenny Stein

Last week, the Washington Cattlemen’s Association, with the support of the Pacific Legal Foundation, submitted a petition to the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) challenging a regulation from that agency which rewrote the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Instead of reserving the most stringent restrictions for species most at risk of extinction like Congress intended when they passed the law, this FWS regulation imposes the most stringent restrictions on lesser threatened species. Besides being illegal, this regulation is counterproductive. By imposing draconian restrictions on all ESA species, the FWS actually removes any incentive for landowners to conserve species. A regulation that is not authorized by law and actually contradicts the goals of the law authorizing it? That’s logic only a regulator can understand.

The ESA, passed in 1973, established two categories for species considered at risk of extinction. “Endangered” means the species is at imminent risk of extinction. The lesser designation of “threatened” means a species is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future. Congress prescribed drastic restrictions in the case of species listed as endangered, banning any “taking” of an endangered species. “Take” is defined extremely broadly, including not just harming or killing a member of the species, but also including any harm to its habitat. For species that are merely threatened, however, this severe restriction was not supposed to apply. Read more here...

A Majority of Illinois Voters Support Justice Reform

- by Christina Delgado

A recent poll by the Illinois Policy Institute indicated that registered voters in Illinois favor criminal justice reform efforts. It additionally noted that voters would support candidates who promote reform as well.

Illinois has a recent history of justice reform endeavors and a Republican governor who has made reform a priority. In February 2015, Governor Rauner formed the bipartisan Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform to analyze problems within the state’s justice system and propose reforms. Furthermore, two state House Republicans led successful efforts last year to implement justice reform in the state of Illinois. Former state representative John Anthony and Rep. John Cabello (R-Machesney Park) introduced house bills 3884 and 3149, respectively. Read more here...

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