Supreme Court Deliver Smackdown on Civil Asset Forfeiture
The ruling is a big win for property rights. Civil asset forfeiture is a widespread and unjust practice that often affects the most vulnerable people in American society.
“For good reason, the protection against excessive fines has been a constant shield throughout Anglo-American history: Exorbitant tolls undermine other constitutional liberties,” Justice Ruth Bader 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.”