COMMENT: Mr. Armstrong; As a Canuck, I was shocked to come to realize that our Canadian government is confiscating the property of innocent people following the same practice in Washington. How can they justify this? Read the Canadian Justice Review Board.
ANSWER: Yes, politicians do seem to get ideas from each other. The US had this civil asset forfeiture and now everyone is confiscating money because that’s what the Americans do. Today, civil asset forfeiture is an outright crime against the people for it is not even a tax – just an illegal taking of innocent people’s money. Its origin is in ancient law that the King of England adopted as a means to pretend he was God and entitled to confiscate everyone’s money on a whim.
The United States Supreme Court in J. W. Goldsmith Jr., Grant Co. v. The United States, 254 U.S. 505 (1922), noted the origins of government forfeiture power in the historical practice of Deodand. The court cited Sir William Blackstone (1723–1780), in his “Commentaries of the Laws of England”, which noted that this practice extended back to the times of Ancient Greece. A Deodand is a thing forfeited or given to God, specifically, in law, an object or instrument that becomes forfeited because it has caused a person’s death.
The English common law of Deodands traces back to the 11th century and was applied, on and off, until Parliament finally abolished it in 1846. Deodand is not practiced in the United States or Canada, yet it has been transformed into the government’s right to seize your property even if you have done NOTHING wrong for it is the object that commits the offense, not you. Politicians have assumed the role of God and it is no longer a justification that says you had a horse that suddenly was spooked and it took off running and killed someone. The horse was then forfeited to really help pay for the funeral costs of the victim. This has been transformed into civil asset forfeiture.
The U.S. Supreme Court relying on Deodand to justify the confiscation of property to enrich the coffers of government is no different than being robbed on the street at gunpoint. Under this ancient practice, the object is guilty, not the owner. This is really an example of how judges are owned by the government and do not defend the Constitution or the people. The right to property is the foundation of civilization. This is why we banned together and formed governments to provide a rule of law to ensure our cooperation with each other. Now we have governments claiming someone sold drugs from your home and seize your home for the house committed the crime, not you even if you had no idea. Basic rules of civilization mean nothing anymore because the rule of law has been turned into a profit mechanism for government.
It cannot be justified but we have no independent judges who will stand up for our basic human rights. There was a revolution, in case these judges forgot, which meant that just because some practice existed in common law does not mean it survived. It plainly begins:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of …”
I do not see how ANY reasonable interpretation of the Constitution can justify Civil Asset Forfeiture. It is in direct conflict with the very stated purpose of the American Constitution.