Re: FBI Stealing 91 Year Old’s Collection

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Lew:  This incident reminds me of the playground bully who forcibly takes something from another, then defends himself by saying “prove that it’s yours.”  It’s the same bullying logic that underlies the governmental practice of “asset forfeiture”: “you have something of value; we’d like to have it; so we’ll take it by force. If you resist we’ll arrest you for assaulting a law enforcement officer.”

Back in the days when “common law” principles were in effect, there was a doctrine popularly known as “possession is nine-points of the law.”  What this meant was that a person who was in peaceable possession of some item of property was presumed to have a better claim to it than another, unless the other person could show that he/she had a superior legal claim. At the common law, the bully lost. Today, the bully is running the system!

3:15 pm on April 3, 2014
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