The high court voted against the practice of states and local governments seizing the assets of those convicted of lesser crimes and even those not even convicted….
The court comments against the usage of those fines and asset seizures being used by government to pay its bills….
Some example where the fines attached to traffic tickets and car seizures for minor violations less then the coast of the one cars tires….
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 financial penalties and seize property.
The decision delighted critics of civil asset forfeiture, who welcomed it as a new weapon in their war against what’s been labeled “policing for profit” — the practice of seizing cash, cars and other property from those convicted, or even suspected, of committing a crime.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, on her second day back on the bench after undergoing cancer surgery in December, announced the court’s decision , saying the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause protects against government retribution at all levels.
“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.”
Groups as diverse as the American Civil Liberties Union and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce warned the Supreme Court of abuses, with the chamber touting a national study that found “60 percent of the 1,400 municipal and county agencies surveyed across the country relied on forfeiture profits as a ‘necessary’ part of their budget.’”….