Justice Dept. Revives Widely-Panned Policy Allowing Police to Steal Property From Suspected Criminals

Image via Getty.
Image via Getty.
Barf BagWelcome to Barf Bag, a daily politics roundup to help you sort through the chaotic Trumpian news cycle.

Another lovely day in the bullshit mines.

Here’s all the shit we couldn’t cover today:

  • The Justice Department under elfin extremist Jeff Sessions has brought back a policy that allows law enforcement to take the property and money from suspected criminals, a policy that was, just like it sounds, unbelievably fucked up. Criminal justice reform had been becoming an area of bipartisan agreement before the Trump administration lumbered in, and few on either side of the aisle wanted this to happen—the Kochs, who essentially run the GOP, happen to support criminal justice reform. And yet it continues to seem as though there is nothing Jeff Sessions loves more than an outdated and universally panned policy that disproportionately targets communities of color. [New York Times]
  • Oh hey there, a bunch of #resistance Democrats are joining Republicans in backing two preeeetty unconstitutional-seeming bills in the House and Senate that would prohibit U.S. companies and individuals from participating in any boycott against Israel and/or its settlements, which are widely considered illegal—a measure that, the Intercept notes, was drafted in part by AIPAC. (This legislative partnership between liberal lawmakers and a lobbying organization that aggressively supported Israel’s far-right wing Prime Minister over Obama is not new.) A letter released last night by the ACLU asserts that “the government cannot, consistent with the First Amendment, punish U.S. persons based solely on their expressed political beliefs,” noting that violations would be subject to a minimum civil penalty of $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison. Uhhhhhhhh? [The Intercept, JTA, ACLU]
  • Kris Kobach, architect of the Trump administration’s fraudulent voter fraud investigation, said “we may never know” if Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, a result that was certified by Congress. Another thing we may never know is whether Kris Kobach’s insides are comprised of scrap metal and headless dolls—life, it’s such a mystery. [HuffPost]
  • Senate Republicans are meeting tonight to try and revive their healthcare bill; unclear if Melisandre and the Lord of Light were included on that email chain. [Politico]
  • Trump stopped arming Syrian rebels, coincidentally a thing that Putin very much wanted him to do. [Washington Post]
  • In case you forgot that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is a nightmare idiot! [Politico]

Here are some tweets the President was allowed to publish:


This has been Barf Bag.

Ellie is a freelance writer and former senior writer at Jezebel. She is pursuing a master's degree in science journalism at Columbia University in the fall.

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This is far down so I do not know whether it will be seen.

One of the most horrifying articles I have ever read in the New Yorker covered civil asset forfeiture. It haunted me for weeks. It is one of the most absolutely must-reads, and were this happening in any other country, we would be describing it as theft, disenfranchisement, kleptocracy and an extreme contravention of the rule of law.

It dispossesses the poorest of the poor and ensures they have no recourse. It is a stunning money grab without repercussion, and allows ruthless persons in positions of authority to enrich themselves on the backs of the poor.

If property is 99.9% of law, this is a shocking and pitiless flaunting thereof.