PORTLAND, Maine — A group of U.S. senators including Maine’s Angus King is calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to exercise caution with the expansion of civil forfeiture.
The Justice Department last month allowed police departments to resume seizing property and cash with federal help. Civil liberties groups say the move creates an avenue for violations of constitutional rights, while law enforcement groups have supported it.
King, an independent, is joining a bipartisan group of senators that is sending a letter to Sessions questioning the constitutionality of seizing property. The senators cite the Fifth Amendment, which protects people from deprivation of property without due process.
The senators write that they think expanding use of civil forfeiture is “inherently abusive.”