(Here is the latest edition of the Institute for Justice’s weekly Short Circuit newsletter, written by John Ross.)
Third time’s a charm? Federal legislation introduced last week would substantially reform civil forfeiture, says IJ Communications Associate Nick Sibilla. The bill, among other things, would abolish the incentive to police for profit and restore the principle that property owners are “innocent until proven guilty.” Click here for more.
Pottstown, Penn. officials are given to entering rental properties and inspecting them for housing code violations — without probable cause that something is wrong inside and without the consent of tenants or landlords. Which is a problem for Dottie and Omar Rivera, who do not want officials poking through their perfectly well-maintained home, which they rent. It’s also a problem under the Pennsylvania Constitution, which provides even stronger protections against suspicionless searches and seizures than the federal Fourth Amendment. So, last week Dottie, Omar, and their landlord joined forces with IJ to challenge Pottstown’s rental-inspection ordinance. Read about the case here.