Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, nominated to the Supreme Court by President Biden, has written two significant opinions on federal asset forfeiture law. One discusses the Government’s ability to obtain a forfeiture money judgment equal to the value of property used to facilitate a drug offense when that property is not available for forfeiture. The other discusses the standard the Government must meet to obtain a default judgment in a civil forfeiture case, and its ability to use civil forfeiture to recover money being laundered by Chinese companies for the benefit of North Korea.
The following document contains the summaries of those two opinions and related comments that I included in the Money Laundering and Forfeiture Digest when those cases were decided. The opinions were both detailed, well-reasoned, and replete with references to the case law and legal scholarship, providing some indication as to how she would approach forfeiture issues that come before the Supreme Court.