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MJI’s Aaron Rice honored with 2019 Buckley Award

Mississippi Justice Institute Director Aaron Rice has been named a recipient of the 2019 Buckley Award, given annually by America’s Future Foundation.

The Buckley Awards recognize “outstanding young professional conservatives for their above-and-beyond service to the conservative movement.” The award is in honor of William F. Buckley, who became a leader of the early conservative movement before the age of 30 by founding National Review in 1955 and hosting the public affairs television show, “Firing Line,” for 33 years. This is the only such award in the freedom movement that focuses on the achievements of liberty-minded young professionals.

Aaron received the award for recognition of his work in helping to defeat the renewal of administrative forfeiture in the legislature this year. Administrative forfeiture previously allowed agents of the state to take property valued under $20,000 and forfeit it by merely obtaining a warrant and providing the individual with a notice. In order to get the property back, an individual was required to file a petition in court within 30 days and incur legal fees in order to contest the forfeiture and recover such assets.

But due in large part to Aaron’s thought leadership through state and national op-eds, television, and radio, the renewal died without receiving a vote in committee.

This is the first time the award has been presented to a state-based think tank that focuses exclusively on one state. Previous winners include Christina Sandefur of Goldwater Institute, Rob Bluey of Heritage Foundation, Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist, and Jim Geraghty of National Review.


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