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BGH curbs government power to impose heavy fines and to confiscate property

in the proximity ofvideo Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg makes first public appearance since cancer surgery

The 85-year-old justice is not a public appearance since the 21. December.

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme court has on Wednesday a drastic pruning of the powers of the States and cities have met for the collection of money and to seize the property, marking can be applied for the first time, the court, the constitutional prohibition of excessive fines at the state level.decided

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who returned to the court for the first time in almost two months after surgery for lung cancer, wrote the majority opinion in the case of an Indiana man who had his Land Rover confiscated, after he was arrested for the sale of $385 of heroin.

“Protection against excessive money, a constant shield was met in the entire Anglo-American history, and with good reason: Such fines to undermine other freedoms,” Ginsburg wrote. “They can be used, for example, to the speech of political opponents slamming or chill. They can also be used not in the service of the criminal-law purposes, but as a source of revenue.”

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While the verdict was a unanimous, justice Clarence Thomas wrote a separate opinion outlines the various reasons for reaching the same conclusion: namely, that “the right to be free of excessive fines is one of the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States, protected by the fourteenth Amendment.” Ginsburg’s opinion was on the basis of the due process clause of the same amendment.

The Supreme Court with its judgment, sent the case of Tyson Timbs back to a lower court to decide whether Indiana was official too far in the seizure of Timbs’ Land Rover. Timbs, who bought Land Rover for $42,000 in January 2013, was arrested a few months later for the sale of heroin, and pleaded guilty.

Timbs, who was sentenced to one year of home detention and five years of probation, argued that the confiscation of the vehicle was disproportionate to the $10,000 maximum monetary penalty, he had to.for the sale of heroin

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The high court ruling may now limit the ability for States and cities to perform what critics have to say on both sides of the political divide, met an increasingly common practice of imposing steep money and the confiscation of property.

Timbs’ legal team, at the Institute for justice, cast the decision as a blow against the practice of the civil law Statute of limitations, the court proceedings by law enforcement authorities, which are able to values of persons suspected of involvement in a crime, without necessarily the owner failed to load behavior of assets.

The same group has similar problems for years. “I can’t imagine that there is any other question, the likes of such cross-aisle support,” Darpana Sheth, a senior attorney at said the Institute for justice, Fox News in the year 2017.

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The constitutional ban on excessive fines, meanwhile, is enshrined in the Eighth Amendment, and, while it was originally only on the Federal level, the Supreme Court since the 1960s incorporated many of these rights at the national level in the framework of the 14. Amendment due process clause.

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Since 2014 more than 20 States and Washington, DC, have adopted laws that either limit for a forfeiture, or makes the process more transparent.

New Mexico now requires a criminal conviction before any possession taken, and the police in Florida, must prove that she was “beyond reasonable doubt”, the property with a crime, before it seized. Arizona lifted the burden on the prosecution to prove property was used in a crime by a preponderance of the evidence, clear and convincing evidence, while Mississippi passed a law that the adoption of a series of measures for more transparency in the practice.

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