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Wed Feb 20, 2019, 10:22 AM

U.S. high court buttresses constitutional ban on 'excessive fines'

Last edited Wed Feb 20, 2019, 11:55 AM - Edit history (1)

Source: Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a decision that may curb the rise of financial penalties and property seizures in the U.S. criminal justice system, the Supreme Court on Wednesday for the first time ruled that the U.S. Constitution’s ban on “excess fines” applies to states as well as the federal government.

The nine justices ruled unanimously in favor of an Indiana man named Tyson Timbs who argued that police violated his rights by seizing his $42,000 Land Rover vehicle after he was convicted as a heroin dealer.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, back on the bench for a second straight day after undergoing lung cancer surgery in December, wrote the court’s opinion, which clarified the applicability of the “excessive fines” prohibition contained in the Constitution’s Eighth Amendment.

“For good reason, the protection against excessive fines has been a constant shield throughout Anglo-American history. Exorbitant tolls undermine other constitutional liberties,” Ginsburg said in court as she announced the ruling.

-snip-

SUPREME COURT FEBRUARY 20, 2019 / 10:11 AM / UPDATED AN HOUR AGO
Lawrence Hurley
4 MIN READ


Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-fines/u-s-high-court-buttresses-constitutional-ban-on-excessive-fines-idUSKCN1Q91Z0



EDIT: article updated at link

Related: 17-1091 Timbs v. Indiana (Supreme Court of the United States)

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Reply U.S. high court buttresses constitutional ban on 'excessive fines' (Original post)
Eugene Feb 2019 OP
BumRushDaShow Feb 2019 #1
Merlot Feb 2019 #2
theboss Feb 2019 #3
Calista241 Feb 2019 #4
PoliticAverse Feb 2019 #5
yaesu Feb 2019 #6
Massacure Feb 2019 #8
yaesu Feb 2019 #9
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Feb 2019 #7
GulfCoast66 Feb 2019 #10
question everything Feb 2019 #11

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2019, 10:35 AM

1. That was unanimous too.

This might have some interesting repercussions to standard practice...

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2019, 10:46 AM

2. Putting a dent in police confiscation is a good thing.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2019, 11:09 AM

3. There's clearly growing political consensus here

 

Which is a good thing.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2019, 11:20 AM

4. RBG putting in work!

She wrote and announced the opinion:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-says-constitutional-protection-against-excessive-fines-applies-to-state-actions/2019/02/20/204ce0d4-3522-11e9-af5b-b51b7ff322e9_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.07e04a4955e5

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, on just her second day back on the bench after undergoing cancer surgery in December, announced the decision for the court, saying that the 8th Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause protects against government retribution.

“For good reason, the protection against excessive fines has been a constant shield throughout Anglo-American history: Exorbitant tolls undermine other constitutional liberties,” Ginsburg wrote. “Excessive fines can be used, for example, to retaliate against or chill the speech of political enemies . . . Even absent a political motive, fines may be employed in a measure out of accord with the penal goals of retribution and deterrence.”

Ginsburg’s opinion makes clear that the clause applies, and that it is “incorporated” under the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause. Justices Thomas and Neil M. Gorsuch agreed with the outcome, but said they would have relied on a different part of the 14th Amendment.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2019, 11:25 AM

5. Good.

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2019, 12:05 PM

6. and many state governments, mine included, can confiscate your home and property if you fail

to pay property tax. This is the biggest excessive fine I can thank of, especially when corporations get out of paying property tax.

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Response to yaesu (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 20, 2019, 08:41 PM

8. In that case the government sells it to the highest bidder and pays you back the difference

The government is only entitled to the amount of back taxes, some interest (usually 1/2% or 1% per month), and the cost of the auction. Any additional profit needs to be paid back to the person the home was confiscated from.

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Response to Massacure (Reply #8)

Wed Feb 20, 2019, 08:51 PM

9. Well, there may be enough left over to buy a good tent as most go for pennies on a dollar. nt

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2019, 05:14 PM

7. Even Beer Keg Kavanaugh was for this one

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2019, 09:09 PM

10. I have little hope for this court...except for one thing.

The latest appointments are strict constructionist. But unlike Thomas they are true believers.

They will disappoint us and piss us off more often than not. But this case shows a glimmer of hope on at least some personal liberty cases they might get it right.

Unfortunately, They do not believe a women’s reproductive decision is a personal liberty.

No matter what happens in 2020 and going forward, even if we achieve a ruling majority, we will pay the cost of not having the Senate the last 4 years.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2019, 01:13 AM

11. K&R And how suitable that it was Justice Ginsburg who wrote the opinion

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