(Here is the latest edition of the Institute for Justice’s weekly Short Circuit newsletter, written by John Ross.)
In 2014, a Colorado think tank wanted to run radio ads urging listeners to urge their elected officials to support criminal sentencing reforms but held off because it would have meant turning the names and addresses of the think tank’s donors over to the federal government. Click here to read an IJ amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to recognize that mandating such disclosures chills speech.
Many states do not adequately protect innocent people from having their property forfeited by law enforcement. But only a handful go so far as to require property owners to post a bond before they can challenge a civil forfeiture in court. Fortunately, Michigan is no longer among them. This month, Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation repealing the requirement that owners cough up between $250 and $5,000 within 20 days of a seizure or automatically lose their property. (Gone too is the gov’t’s ability to force property owners who challenged a forfeiture and lost to pay for the gov’t’s litigation expenses.) That leaves four states — Hawaii, Illinois, Rhode Island and Tennessee — that impose such a bond requirement. Read more here.