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SCOTUS Cracks Down on Civil Asset Forfeiture Barnwell: Projecting five offseason moves for each AFC North team

SCOTUS Cracks Down on Civil Asset ForfeitureThe Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Wednesday that state and local governments are not exempt from the Constitutional prohibition against imposing “excessive fines” on citizens, significantly constraining the ability of law enforcement to seize the property of criminal suspects.Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for eight of the nine justices, argued that state and local governments unconstrained by the Eighth Amendment's excessive-fines clause are likely to abuse their power.“For good reason, the protection against excessive fines has been a constant shield throughout Anglo-American history: Exorbitant tolls undermine other constitutional liberties,” 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.”The case in question concerned Tyson Timbs of Marion, Ind., who had his $42,000 Land Rover seized after pleading guilty to selling less than $1,000 of heroin. Tyson's property was seized via civil asset forfeiture, which allows the authorities to confiscate property they suspect was used in criminal activity before a suspect is found guilty or even charged with a crime.A trial court subsequently rejected the civil-forfeiture suit brought by the state, holding that the fine should be considered excessive because the vehicle was purchased for more than four times the maximum penalty of $10,000 that Timbs could be subjected to for selling heroin under state law.The Indiana Supreme Court then reversed that decision on the grounds that the excessive-fines clause of the Constitution applied only to the federal government in a ruling that was vacated by the High Court on Wednesday.Civil-liberties advocates celebrated the ruling as a reversal of a trend in which state and local governments increasingly rely on asset forfeiture to fund their operations.“Increasingly, our justice system has come to rely on fines, fees, and forfeitures to fund law-enforcement agencies rather than having to answer to elected officials for their budgets,” Scott Bullock, the president and general counsel of the Institute for Justice, said in a Wednesday statement. “This is not just an ominous trend; it is a dangerous one. We are grateful that the U.S. Supreme Court established that the U.S. Constitution secures meaningful protections for private property and limits the government’s ability to turn law enforcement into revenue generators.”


Things are looking up for the Browns -- finally. In Pittsburgh, meanwhile, the Steelers' big three could be down to one in a month.
Trump lays into Jussie Smollett on Twitter after police say he staged his attack Keenum 'shocked' by Flacco deal, talked to Elway

Trump lays into Jussie Smollett on Twitter after police say he staged his attackPresident Trump appeared enraged on Twitter after police revealed their findings of last month's alleged attack on Jussie Smollett.


Case Keenum says he's "shocked" over the Broncos' yet-to-be-finalized trade for Joe Flacco and that he's still unsure of what's next after talking to GM John Elway.
UN urges India, Pakistan to take immediate steps to defuse tensions Syracuse's Boeheim hits, kills man on highway

UN urges India, Pakistan to take immediate steps to defuse tensionsUN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called on India and Pakistan to take immediate steps to defuse tensions and offered to help broker a solution if both sides agree. The two countries have been locked in a diplomatic clash following a suicide attack on February 14 in Kashmir that killed 40 Indian security personnel, triggering counter-operations by Indian forces in the area. "We are deeply concerned at the increasing tensions between the two countries," said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.


Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim was driving a car that hit and killed a pedestrian, police said Thursday.
Every Photo From Our EV Battle Between the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV and 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric Zion injury a 'mild knee sprain,' Coach K says

Every Photo From Our EV Battle Between the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV and 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric


Duke's Zion Williamson made an early exit from Wednesday's rivalry game after suffering a "mild" right knee sprain when his left Nike basketball shoe blew out.
Polar Vortex may have killed off majority of stink bugs, experts find Pacquiao doesn't want son to become a boxer

Polar Vortex may have killed off majority of stink bugs, experts findResearchers say the recent Polar Vortex may have killed 95% of stink bugs that hadn't found shelter to stay warm.


Manny Pacquiao has crafted a legendary career, winning world titles in a record eight divisions, but he doesn't want his son Jimuel to follow in his footsteps.


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Houston Views and Opinions
 
The Importance of Free Press in a Democracy

Before we can understand the importance of a free press in a democracy, we need to grasp what it means to have a free press. The Cambridge Dictionary tells us that a free press allows all media outlets to express whatever opinions they desire. That means, it says, that they are enabled to “criticize the government and other organizations.” So why would that be relevant in a democracy?

Unfair Questions or Democracy At Work ?

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” -- The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Why U.S. Engagement Policy Is The Correct One

Invariably, when one thinks of the efficacy of a nation’s military, the mind’s eye is drawn to the ability of that country to deliver a \"warhead onto the forehead\" of their enemies. Indeed, owing to the Pentagon’s slick packaging of the First Gulf War, modern conflict, in the American mind, became synonymous with high-tech toys, grainy videos of successful missile shots, and a quick resolution of hostilities.

Capitalism and The Wealth Gap

When it comes to the efficient delivery of goods and services, capitalism is the proven economic model that puts people to work and products on the shelves. Whether those jobs end up paying enough money to purchase the items on those shelves is another matter, however.

Living Wages Are A Global Problem

The recent protests for an increased minimum wage are part of a larger global protest. The purpose is the same for low wage earners all over the world; increase wages to match the cost of living, and allow workers to form unions if desired and needed. The global protest has gained media attention all over the world, but critics claim that is the only accomplishment the movement will have.

Ukraine: Not What It Seems

After tense days of fighting this week, people in Ukraine are mourning the dead and celebrating the removal of President Victor Yanukovych from power. The final struggle that began on February 18, was the bloodiest endured by the protesters of Euromaidan. By February 22 the fighting was over.

Religious Freedom Bill - Protecting The Faithful or Legalized Discrimination?

After a much heated national debate, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the controversial bill that would have allowed people and businesses in the state to refuse services to LBGT people based on their religious belief.

Coup Or Civil War In Egypt

The day after new protests erupted in Egypt the military in a show of support presented an ultimatum to Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood-led government. Morsi was to step down from power and meet all of the demands of the Egyptian people, or face being removed by the military on Wednesday. As the ultimatum deadline draws closer in Egypt, Morsi refuses to leave, insisting that parliamentary elections are needed before he should be removed, and that he doesn't have permission from the United States to remove himself from power. Most recently he stated he will pay with his life to preserve the sanctity of the ballot box.

 

 
 
 
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