WASHINGTON, D.C.: A controversial 5-4 Supreme Court ruling Monday gave the government increased power to expropriate property used to commit crimes. The Court ruled that the 1988 seizure of a car used by a man for an assignation with a prostitute was legal, even though the confiscated car belonged to the man's wife. Tina Bennis, the owner of the car, argued that the government's taking of her 1977 Pontiac violated her constitutional rights to due process of law and compensation for seizure. In an impassioned dissent from the Court's decision, Justice John Paul Stevens called the ruling "blatantly unfair," saying the decision would allow the states to "confiscate vast amounts of property." TIME's Adam Cohen reports: "The ruling shows that the Supreme Court is willing to allow states to take a hard line on crime. Even though the rights of some parties could be infringed, the court focused on the prerogatives of the states."