Last fall I mentioned a case before the Nine, dealing with excessive fines and the waning Bill of Rights. They must have read that as they voted unanimously to uphold a shred of liberty.
The US Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Wednesday that the Excessive Fines Clause in the 8th Amendment applies to state and local governments.
Announced in an opinion written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on her second day back on the bench following a December cancer surgery, the ruling limits states’ abilities to seize property and impose fines deemed excessive on citizens who break the law.
“For good reason, the protection against excessive fines has been a constant shield throughout Anglo-American history: Exorbitant tolls undermine other constitutional liberties,” wrote Ginsburg, as the court sided with Tyson Timbs of Marion Indiana, whose $42,000 Land Rover SUV was seized by the state following a guilty plea for selling $385 worth of heroin to an undercover detective.
The larger development may be Ginsburg writing “Anglo-American history.” Easy, sister – don’t go overboard and allude to The Posterity at a time like this.
And, what a great time this week has been. Special people, nationwide, are getting a little justice – Juicy Smallest (whatever), R. (“Rape?”) Kelly, and maybe even Jeff Epstein.
Federal prosecutors, under former Miami U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta, broke the law when they concealed a plea agreement from more than 30 underage victims who had been sexually abused by wealthy New York hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein, a federal judge ruled Thursday.
While the decision marks a victory for crime victims, the federal judge, Kenneth A. Marra, stopped short of overturning Epstein’s plea deal, or issuing an order resolving the case. He instead gave federal prosecutors 15 days to confer with Epstein’s victims and their attorneys to come up with a settlement. The victims did not seek money or damages as part of the suit.
It’s not clear whether the victims, now in their late 20s and early 30s, can, as part of the settlement, demand that the government prosecute Epstein. But others are calling on the Justice Department to take a new look at the case in the wake of the judge’s ruling.
“As a legal matter, the non-prosecution agreement entered into by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Florida does not bind other U.S. Attorneys in other districts. They are free, if they conclude it is appropriate to do so, to bring criminal actions against Mr. Epstein and his co-conspirators,’’ said lawyer David Boies, representing two of Epstein’s victims who claim they were trafficked by Epstein in New York and other areas of the country.
No need to wait on a judicial decision from any District. We’re under a declared State of Emergency. Light Epstein, Acosta, and the other enemies up, Mr. Trump. Let the good times (and heads) roll.