August 26, 2015

You can deliver a setback to ASSET FORFEITURE

Your chance to curtail asset forfeiture. #LuisvUS #SupremeCourt Retweet

Earlier this week, Perry Willis and I asked our supporters at the Zero Aggression Project, to help us file an important amicus brief with the Supreme Court. Now, I’m coming to you, here at DownsizeDC.org.

We know we’ve proposed two briefs in three weeks. This might seem like a bit much, but this is the busy time at the Supreme Court. This asset forfeiture case is important. We really need your assistance with…

Luis v. United States.

This is another chance to build on previous successes. Recall that…

We filed an earlier brief (one of only two filed for this case) asking the Supreme Court to review the Luis case. They granted our request, creating this opportunity.

Now, we actually get to make our case, which is…

The Bill of Rights protects your right to own and use property, unmolested by government aggression.

We’ve referenced our landmark victory in the Jones case many times, including two weeks ago. That was a Fourth Amendment case. We successfully argued that you had a property right — not merely a privacy right — to be secure in your person, house, papers, and effects.

The brief for the Luis case will try to capitalize on that strategic insight and success. Our Luis brief will apply a property rights rationale to the 6th Amendment’s guarantee of your right to be represented by an attorney of your choice.

That right is damaged when prosecutors seize your assets. Without assets, you might be denied the resources needed to hire competent legal counsel.

Consider Mrs. Luis, who was charged with Medicare fraud. The prosecutor froze her assets. This included assets unrelated to the alleged crime. As a result, Mrs. Luis had no funds to defend herself.

Freezing and seizing assets is a long-standing and dangerous abuse by prosecutors. They deploy this coercive tactic to compel plea bargains, thereby short-circuiting the right to a trial.

Just imagine if you were placed in this situation. You’re accused of something you didn’t do. You can’t hire an attorney, because the prosecutor has frozen your assets. You must then make a hard choice…

  • Will you trust your fate to a state-appointed public defender
  • Or will you accept a plea bargain, taking on guilt and punishment in order to avoid something even worse?

This abuse must stop.
The Luis case is your chance to stop it.

Our attorneys will attack the assumption that an individual must prove his property not the fruit of a crime. Otherwise, the right to counsel is reduced to having the court choose your counsel for you. And…

Without the right to property, there is no Bill of Rights…

  • The free exercise of religion must occur in some physical space not owned by The State
  • Likewise, the freedoms of speech, press, and assembly presuppose a system of private property ownership
  • The Second Amendment assumes a right to own weapons as property
  • The right to exclude soldiers from quartering in one’s home assumes you have a right to own a house.
  • And the right against unreasonable searches is also a right to property, as the Supreme Court recently recognized in the Jones case

These are the points our amicus brief will make if you can help us. You can contribute on the secure, Zero Aggression Project, contribution form. [Zero Aggression Project is an initiative of the Downsize DC Foundation].

DownsizeDC.org is encouraging contributions to the Downsize DC Foundation. Why? Because giving to via Downsize DC Foundation means your donation is tax deductible if you itemize your tax return.

Checks should be made payable to the Downsize DC Foundation as well, and mailing details are available on the secure form. If you’re sending a check, please hit Reply and let us know it’s on its way.

Every amount helps. But the budget for this brief needs someone to step forward with $1,000 and another one or probably two people to provide $500.

If you know someone who cares deeply about asset forfeiture, please share this message with them.

Thank you, in advance, for your support,

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

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