Civil asset forfeiture is a practice by which law enforcement can take assets from a person who is suspected of a crime, even without a charge or conviction. Sessions revived the Justice Department’s Equitable Sharing Program, which allowed state and local police agencies to take assets and then give them to the federal government — which would in turn give a chunk back to the local police. This served as a way for these local agencies to skirt past state laws designed to limit asset forfeiture.
The amendment would roll back Sessions’ elimination of the Obama-era reforms.
No, of course it won’t make any difference. The senate will stay squishy, or there’ll be a veto or signing statement or some damn thing. Cops love 1033 and they love civil asset forfeiture like an earlier generation loved free donuts. It has led them into terrible habits and eventually it’s going to destroy them, but you can’t tell them that. As long as his administration lets them play soldier and steal the stuff they claim to be safeguarding, Trump knows he’s got one constituency solidly behind him. And, apparently, screw everybody else.
So no, this won’t make any difference. It’s worth a mention whenever I see somebody in congress doing something that isn’t completely contemptible*. I was just as surprised when Obama put the squeeze on those programs in the first place.
*though I might have a different opinion if I looked into whatever the hell the “Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act” is. I’m quite sure I’d hate it, so why look it up and harsh the buzz?