by Chidem Kurdas
A Wall Street Journal article reports that the number of federal statutes giving the government the right to confiscate citizens’ assets has nearly doubled since the 1990s, by one count. This is not something that happens only to convicted gangsters. Among the more than 400 federal statutes allowing for forfeiture is the Northern Pacific Halibut Act.
Violators of the Halibut Act, which prohibits fishing in certain areas in order to conserve stocks, can lose their boat and – this could get smelly – their fish as well.
“Last year, forfeiture programs confiscated homes, cars, boats and cash in more than 15,000 cases. The total take topped $2.5 billion, more than doubling in five years, Justice Department statistics show,” wrote John Emshwiller and Gary Fields in the WSJ. They don’t mention illicit halibut; Read the rest of this entry »