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SCOTUS unanimously votes to limit civil asset forfeiture by state and local governments


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Nice.  I think the states should go a step further: all fines collected (both civil and criminal) should be redistributed back to the citizens.  The fines should not be used to fund the government, as it gives a perverse incentive to increase fine amounts and/or enforcement, where the poor and minorities are hit the hardest.

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Ok, so my understanding is that until now (for reasons beyond me) 14th amendment limits on excessive bail and excessive fines have not been applied at the state or local level. So from now on civil asset forfeiture is still a thing, but the fines cannot be deemed "excessive," right? So I guess the question I have is what are the standards for excessive fines in federal courts that now apply to the states?

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24 minutes ago, b_m_b_m_b_m said:

Now compare it to this:

 

 

 

 

No one should comfort themselves with the fact that only Thomas signed on to this view.

 

Never underestimate the right's ability to turn a fringe theory into orthodoxy over the course of a generation. In most of our lifetimes the idea that there was a personal right to own guns or that there would be a majority of originalists on the Supreme Court would have been laughable.

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4 minutes ago, Chairslinger said:

 

 

No one should comfort themselves with the fact that only Thomas signed on to this view.

 

Never underestimate the right's ability to turn a fringe theory into orthodoxy over the course of a generation. In most of our lifetimes the idea that there was a personal right to own guns or that there would be a majority of originalists on the Supreme Court would have been laughable.

I'm sure the social circles that the good Justice and his wife take to have nothing to do with this. Nor does the allegations of one Anita Hill. Yep, this is an above the fray constitutional scholar

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54 minutes ago, sblfilms said:

Did you guys read the text of Thomas’ argument? It is interesting. One part I was not aware of is the whole limited public person bit.

I went ahead and read it, and wasn't previously aware of the Sullivan case, though I had a limited understanding of the libel standard against public figures.

 

The thing that stood out to me most was how libel worked previous to the decision:

Quote

But where the publication was false, even if the defendant could show that no reputational injury occurred, the prevailing rule was that at least nominal damages were to be awarded

It's impossible to imagine this standard being functional today.

 

The wiki article on the Sullivan case says that there were $300M worth of libel actions from southern states aimed at news organizations in order to prevent critical coverage of civil rights issues. It's not hard to imagine what that would be like today, given that the MAGA kid is suing the Post for $250M. Now obviously that case will be tossed and $250M is a headline grabbing sum, not a recoverable number, but the point stands. If a publication could be held liable for anything they got wrong, even if no injury occured, non-stop lawsuits would innondate the press, and a dying business would be quickly buried. 

 

That's especially true since the Sullivan case was about a public official that wasn't even named suing the Times. If every government official that could find an inaccuracy in a story could sue, there'd be an untold number of lawsuits overnight. 

 

More than just that, the Sullivan case wasn't even about something the Times wrote, but about an advertisement on their platform. Imagine if Google or Facebook could be held liable for the wording of every ad they sell. Resetting the constitutional standard for libel might even call section 230 into question.

 

There's an idealism behind the idea that we want public statements to be factual, and I don't mind the idea that publications could be liable for lying, but I just don't see how it would be workable today. 

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