Search Results for ‘"excessive fines"’

Colorado Supreme Court: Excessive Fines Clause applies to corporations

Taking up an issue that the U.S. Supreme Court has never pronounced on — whether or not the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause applies to corporations as well as to individuals — the Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that it does. Cato, together with the Independence Institute, had filed an amicus brief in the case [Eugene Volokh; Jodee R. Rankin, Washington Legal Foundation; decision in Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, Division of Workers’ Compensation v. Dami Hospitality, LLC; earlier]

Timbs v. Indiana: state forfeiture can violate Excessive Fines Clause

A unanimous Supreme Court ruling in Timbs v. Indiana confirms that state governments, like their federal counterpart, may not impose excessive fines. The ruling also holds that “at least some state civil asset forfeitures” violate the Excessive Fines Clause. “As a result, the ruling could help curb abusive asset forfeitures, which enable law enforcement agencies to seize property that they suspect might have been used in a crime – including in many cases where the owner has never been convicted of anything, or even charged. Abusive forfeitures are a a widespread problem that often victimizes innocent people and particularly harms the poor.” [Ilya Somin; ABA Journal]

Now keep your eye on the Privileges and Immunities Clause, advises Ilya Shapiro; Justice Gorsuch used a concurrence to signal that he is interested in revitalizing it, a position already held by Justice Clarence Thomas [Cato; see also Josh Blackman on Twitter]

Timbs v. Indiana: does Excessive Fines clause apply to the states?

The Supreme Court has agreed to take up the question of whether the Bill of Rights’s Excessive Fines Clause applies to the states [Eugene Volokh] Because the case involves a state’s claim to a seized vehicle, it might also permit the Court to address issues of the constitutionality of asset forfeiture [Ilya Somin, Nick Sibilla, IJ petition for cert in Timbs v. Indiana]

Excessive fines

Too bad the courts have decided to leave the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause on the shelf, it might otherwise be helpful to everyone from Virginia motorists to sexual harassment defendants (Ralph Reiland, “The ignored amendment”, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Aug. 27). More resources here, here, and here (noting Supreme Court’s ruling in Browning-Ferris that the clause restrains excessive fines only when payable to the government, not private parties).

February 5 roundup

  • If your personal injury lawyer instructs you not to file a claim with your health insurer concerning your medical care, you may instead be in the hands of a “lien doctor” [Sara Randazzo, WSJ, paywall]
  • Supreme Court passes up opportunity to decide whether the Constitution’s Excessive Fines Clause applies to business defendants, and also whether a state can conjure an excessive fine out of existence by conceptually slicing it up into smaller daily fines [Ilya Shapiro on Cato support for certiorari petition in Dami Hospitality v. Colorado; petition denied January 13]
  • Assessing (favorably) the Trump Administration record on regulation [Cato Daily Podcast with William Yeatman and Caleb Brown; Casey Mulligan, Economics 21]
  • Twelve scholars pick their favorite dissents in Canadian law, and the result might furnish something of a mini-education in the jurisprudence of Canada, where unions, for example, are deemed to have a constitutional right to strike [Double Aspect via Prawfsblawg]
  • Ben Barton of the University of Tennessee, whose books we’ve much admired, has a new one out on a topic dear to our heart, called Fixing Law Schools [Scott Jaschik interview, Inside Higher Ed via Caron/TaxProf]
  • This, except not disapprovingly: current administration retreats from predecessor’s moves to define international human rights as including economic welfare and social justice claims [JoAnn Kamuf Ward and Catherine Coleman Flowers, Columbia Human Rights Law Review]

“South Carolina Judge Declares Civil Forfeiture Unconstitutional”

Horry County (Myrtle Beach), South Carolina: “In a 15-page decision, 15th Judicial Circuit Judge Steven H. John declared that South Carolina’s civil forfeiture laws, which let the government ‘seize unlimited amounts of cash and other property when no crime has been committed,’ run afoul of the U.S. and South Carolina Constitutions’ guarantees of due process and bans on excessive fines.” [Nick Sibilla, Forbes; Scott Shackford, Reason]

Constitutional law roundup

  • Kansas Supreme Court rules 4-3 that cops can conduct warrantless search of private homes if they say they smell marijuana. Practical difference between this and “…whenever they please” is not clear [Tim Carpenter, Topeka Capital-Journal] More: Jacob Sullum;
  • At Timbs v. Indiana oral argument, Court seems sympathetic to idea of applying Excessive Fines clause to the states [Robby Soave, Jacob Sullum, Ilya Somin, earlier here, here, and here] Notwithstanding Justice Gorsuch and Kavanaugh’s interjections, there is and has been no uniform incorporation of the entire Bill of Rights against the states [Rory Little]
  • Arizona Supreme Court should recognize that First Amendment protects right of calligraphic art studio not to be forced to draw invitations and vows for wedding ceremony of which owner/artists disapprove on religious grounds [Ilya Shapiro and Patrick Moran on Cato Institute amicus brief in Brush & Nib Studio v. City of Phoenix]
  • Claim: notwithstanding SCOTUS precedent to the contrary, U.S. Constitution contains no general federal power to restrict immigration [Ilya Somin and others, Cato Unbound symposium, more]
  • “The Supreme Court Really Needs to Start Defining the Scope of the Second Amendment” [Ilya Shapiro and Matthew Larosiere on Cato amicus brief in Mance v. Whitaker, interstate sales by gun dealers] “Bump Stock Rule Bumps Up Against the Constitution” [Shapiro and Larosiere] “The Most Common Firearm in America is Not a ‘Weapon of War’” [same on Cato amicus brief in Worman v. Healey, Massachusetts ban on “assault weapons”] Federal court strikes down as unconstitutional New York’s ban on nunchaku [AP, Lowering the Bar with previous coverage of lawyer’s quest]
  • “An individual’s right to live free from governmental intrusion in private or personal information is natural, essential, and inherent.” That’s a recently adopted provision of the New Hampshire constitution. Now what does it mean? [David Post]

Constitutional law roundup

  • Judge says Emoluments Clause suit based on Trump’s DC hotel can proceed [Andrew M. Harris, Bloomberg, Washington Post; two views at Volokh Conspiracy from David Post and Josh Blackman and Seth Barrett Tillman; earlier on Emoluments Clause litigation] Last year I noted the hotel-competitor fact pattern as the kind of emoluments case most likely to clear the standing hurdle;
  • Excessive fines are unconstitutional, whether levied on persons or on groups of persons [Ilya Shapiro and Matthew Larosiere and Dave Kopel on Cato/Independence Institute brief in Colorado Dept. of Labor v. Dami Hospitality]
  • Federalist Society conversation with author Joseph Tartakovsky about his new book, The Lives of the Constitution: Ten Exceptional Minds that Shaped America’s Supreme Law;
  • “In 2016, Birmingham, Ala. officials imposed $10.10 minimum wage, but the next day state legislators preempted it, enacting a statewide minimum wage of $7.25. Plaintiffs: Which discriminates against blacks, who make up 72 percent of Birmingham and most of its City Council. Eleventh Circuit: ‘Today, racism is no longer pledged from the portico of the capitol or exclaimed from the floor of the constitutional convention; it hides, abashed, cloaked beneath ostensibly neutral laws and legitimate bases, steering government power toward no less invidious ends.’ Plaintiffs’ equal protection claim should not have been dismissed.” [John Kenneth Ross, Short Circuit, on Lewis v. Governor of Alabama]
  • “This is the old ‘why do you make him hit you?’ argument applied to civil liberties. It excuses the actions of the abuser—the state in this case—as reactions to the missteps of the abused.” [J.D. Tuccille on curious ACLU argument that maintaining expansive Second Amendment rights just provokes the state into wider crackdowns]
  • North Carolina’s constitution has a clause endorsing right to “the enjoyment of the fruits of their own labor” which might furnish ground to challenge some economic regulation [Eugene Volokh]

Constitutional law roundup

  • “Allegation: Maplewood, Mo. officials trap low-income motorists in a repeated cycle of arrests and jailing over traffic violations by requiring them to pay fines and bonds irrespective of their ability to pay. A Fourteenth Amendment violation? The district court did not err, says the Eighth Circuit, in allowing the case to proceed.” [John Kenneth Ross, IJ “Short Circuit” on Webb v. City of Maplewood]
  • “Does the Excessive Fines Clause Apply to the States? You’d think we’d know that by now — but the Supreme Court hasn’t spoken to this.” [Eugene Volokh]
  • “SCOTUS Bingo: The Slaughterhouse Cases” [Sheldon Gilbert on Heritage “SCOTUS 101” podcast with Elizabeth Slattery and Tiffany Bates; Eighth Circuit occupational licensure case]
  • Should committing a crime unrelated to guns or violence lead to lifetime forfeiture of gun rights? [Ilya Shapiro and Matt Larosiere on Cato amicus brief in Kanter v. Sessions, Seventh Circuit]
  • “A Debt Against the Living: An Introduction to Originalism,” Federalist Society podcast with Michael McConnell and Ilan Wurman discussing Wurman’s new book]
  • A new and better Article V? [proposal for an “amendment amendment“]