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Watchdog Podcast: ‘I don’t think you could design a worse public policy if you tried’

By   /   April 29, 2016  /   No Comments

Clark Neily thought he had seen government at its worst.

Then he started working on civil forfeiture cases.

Neily, a senior attorney at the Institute for Justice, sits down with Eric Boehm on this week’s edition of the Watchdog Podcast. They discuss the recent civil forfeiture case involving Eh Wah, a Texan who had $50,000 seized by Oklahoma police in February of this year. When the case made national headlines this week, the police quickly reversed course and returned the money they had taken from Wah.

The case highlights some of the absurdities of civil forfeiture. Wah was never charged with a crime, and no drugs were found when police searched his car. But under the often-abused rules that govern civil forfeiture, the police were able to take his money anyway — and when that happens, it is up to the victims to prove their innocence.

Boehm and Neily (disclosure: he’s the husband of Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity President Nicole Neily) also discuss ongoing state-level efforts to roll back restrictive occupational licensing laws, a major theme of this week’s National Economic Liberty Forum, an event organized by the Institute for Justice.

All that, plus a look at the Nanny State of the Week and the Picks of the Litter, on this edition of the Watchdog Podcast.

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    Eric Boehm is the national regulatory reporter for Watchdog.org. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. His work has appeared in Reason Magazine, National Review Online, The Freeman Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Washington Examiner and Fox News. He was once featured in a BuzzFeed listicle. Follow him on Twitter @EricBoehm87 and reach him at [email protected]