Just law is fundamental to peace and prosperity. Most all of the problems we face are created or made worse by bad law. Civil asset forfeiture is one example. It violates rule of law, due process and the inherent and inalienable right to property. Civil asset forfeiture is a travesty to our judicial system and SB 443 was an attempt to begin to reform it. As Steve Greenhut has shared, civil asset forfeiture has “morphed into a means by which agencies bolster their budgets … the overwhelming percentage of forfeiture cases involve people who have not been convicted of a crime.”
I think the difference between a statesman and a politician is the degree to which one is guided by higher law versus man (votes).
While I am thankful that each of our San Diego Republican legislators supported it yesterday, I want to highlight two.
Assemblyman Brian Maienschein.
While many Republicans joined Maienschein on the compromised bill yesterday, back in September he stood alone as one of the few who supported a stronger version of the bill when it was voted on and failed. Assemblyman Maienschein was one of the few Republicans that identified the core judicial issue early and voted it be upheld despite pressure from law enforcement lobbyists.
Senator Joel Anderson
A bill doesn’t exist until there is an author. Before SB443 could get to the floor someone had to recognize the injustice and be willing to address it. Enter Sen. Anderson, the only Republican Senator to leave his seat in March 2014 and challenge the Senate to expel three felons. As the Senator has done before, he did again with Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform in California. He took a lonely stand and co-authored SB 443.
It is this type of courage and stand on principle that caused the Republican Liberty Caucus of San Diego County to honor him with the Thomas Paine Award.
“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.” – Thomas Paine
SB 443 passed the Assembly yesterday 67-7 thanks to our legislators and these two whom to me looked more like statesmen than politicians.
Eric Andersen is a member of the Central Committee of the San Diego County Republican Party and current Chair and Co-Founder of the Republican Liberty Caucus of San Diego County. He is a Co-Founder of im2moro.com, former Rock Church Citizen of the Year and former Caucus Chair for the 71st Assembly District.