Will Mississippi buck national trends and go backwards on civil forfeiture reform?

The quest by Rep. Mark Baker (R-Brandon) to reauthorize administrative forfeiture in Mississippi is gaining national attention. And not necessarily for the right reasons.

Last week, a coalition of numerous conservative organizations, in Mississippi and nationally, including Mississippi Center for Public Policy, Mississippi Justice Institute, American Conservative Union, Empower Mississippi, FreedomWorks, Institute for Justice, and Right of Crime sent a letter to Gov. Phil Bryant, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, and Speaker Philip Gunn asking them to oppose the reauthorization.

“Conservatives rightly understand that private property rights are the bedrock of a free society, and the bar must be high for a government to seize property from its citizens and transfer ownership to the state through forfeiture litigation,” the letter reads. “Civil forfeiture is controversial because it often means innocent people losing their property to the state in processes that are complex and divorced from the prosecution of the crime that was the basis for the initial seizure.”