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Thread: Supreme Court, in unanimous ruling, moves to limit state and local governments’ power

  1. #1
    Senior Member Bos Mutus's Avatar
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    Mar 2015
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    Supreme Court, in unanimous ruling, moves to limit state and local governments’ power

    The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday that the Constitution’s prohibition on excessive fines applies to state and local governments, limiting their abilities to impose fines and seize property.Subscribe to the Post Most newsletter: Today’s most popular stories on The Washington Post

    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.”
    The court ruled in favor of Tyson Timbs of Marion, Ind., who had his $42,000 Land Rover seized after he was arrested for selling a couple hundred dollars’ worth of heroin.
    He drew wide support from civil liberties organizations who want to limit civil forfeitures, which they say empower localities and law enforcement to seize property of someone suspected of a crime as a revenue stream.
    Some justices, too, had become worried about the state and local efforts.
    Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in a recent opinion that civil forfeitures have “become widespread and highly profitable.”
    Good! These property seizures that I've read about were ridiculous.
    The Voice of Reason

  2. #2
    Senior Member SeaLawyer's Avatar
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    While I believe the individual should be punished for selling heroin, I do believe some local authorities have gained too much power to leverage the law for their own interests.

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