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Author Topic: Supreme court reigns in civil asset forfeiture  (Read 2553 times)


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Supreme court reigns in civil asset forfeiture
« on: February 20, 2019, 03:54:20 pm »

The justices ruled unanimously that the Constitution’s restriction on excessive fines and seizures applies to state and local governments.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled unanimously to limit the ability of state and local governments to seize property, including through the controversial practice of civil asset forfeiture.
Voting 9-0, the justices found that the Constitution's prohibition on excessive fines under the Eighth Amendment applies not only to the federal government but also to state and local authorities, and that practices such as civil asset forfeiture – where law enforcement can seize the property of anyone accused of criminal activity, regardless whether they're convicted or even charged – run afoul of the restriction.


Elias Alias

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Re: Supreme court reigns in civil asset forfeiture
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2019, 02:43:41 am »

A step in the right direction, for sure. It's sorta rare to see one element of the government curb the theft of another element of government.

"For good reason, the protection against excessive fines has been a constant shield throughout Anglo-American history: Exorbitant tolls undermine other constitutional liberties," Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in the court's opinion. "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."

However, it is noted by your humble servant that authoritarian attitudes never actually advocate removal of the government's "authority" to steal from citizens -- they're just tempering that bad habit to some extent, and I'm guessing that it's to keep the sheeple from rising up in significant numbers.  Who knows, eh?
Still, that little gain "given" to us by the SCOTUS is better than nothing.

"Heirs to self-knowledge shed gently their fears..."
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