Has Bennis v. Michigan Made Asset Forfeiture Too Easy?
Labedz, Ronald F.
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This note examines the historical justifications of asset forfeiture as well as the justifications behind its more recent uses. The note begins by analyzing the rationale of precedents that have upheld asset forfeiture then that rationale is applied to the facts of Bennis v. Michigan. After establishing that the exigencies historically thought necessary to justify asset forfeiture are not present in Bennis, the author determines the Supreme Court improperly applied precedent and instead should have conducted a due process analysis. The author argues that had the Supreme Court conducted that analysis, the Court would have held Michigan's asset forfeiture scheme to be irrational and, therefore, invalid. The note ends with a brief discussion on the practical impact of Bennis.