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Constitution Thursday – Excessive Fines & Civil Forfeiture



“nor excessive fines imposed…” – 8th Amendment

A professional musician travelling with $91,000 in cash he was going to use to buy a recording studio is stopped in Wyoming for a seat belt violation. The Police take the money, and claim that they have a right to it.

in Indiana, what happens when a young man sells four grams of heroin to an undercover cop? Obviously, he gets busted, does a year on house arrest and pays a fine. Then he decided to get his life back together and heads out to find a new job.

But…

The cops weren’t done. They used Civil Forfeiture laws to seize his car, valued at $40,000. Don’t read too much into that value, there is a valid reason that he had the money to buy it in the first place.

He sued, and the lower State Court held that he should get his car back. After all, it was only 4 ounces of heroin. The Law enforcement agencies appealed it to the State Supreme Court.

The highest Court in Indiana, along with Mississippi, Michigan and Montana proclaimed that the 8th Amendments prohibition against excessive fines “does not apply” to it.

And so… we’re off and running to ask the Supreme Court one question: does the 8th Amendment prohibition against excessive fines apply to the States?


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The Honor System



11358247_vtfAn Easter Egg hunt to honor Jesus goes predictably awry when nobody involved understands how “the honor system” actually works.

All that money may not really solve the problem that Memories Pizza has, which is, of course, that they committed a thought crime which the government has already begun turning into a hate crime. And believe you me, that will NOT go unpunished… or un-fined, if you get my drift.

Victor Davis Hanson reminds us of how this drought went from a naturally occurring weather pattern to a political nightmare, but he still doesn’t make it rain.

The Washington Post accuses Republicans of mounting an “insurrection” against the “legitimate Constitutional Authority” of the President. Seriously.

And Kentucky loses most ungracefully, which means Dave can finally watch the NCAA Tournament, but he won’t because… BASEBALL IS BACK!

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The (Very) Liberal History of the RFRA

CONSTITUTION THURSDAY



St. Peter's Church, Boerne, Texas

This Church in Boerne, TX is why Indiana passed it’s version of the RFRA

In Indiana, controversy reigns over the State’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, with accusations flying that it will allow rampant discrimination against gay people. So why did Indiana feel the need to pass such a law in the first place? What was it that compelled a Democrat Party controlled Congress to pass the first Religious Freedom Restoration Act by a unanimous vote in the House of Representatives and a 97-3 vote in the Senate, before being signed by President Bill Clinton? And if the nations liberals saw good in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, what is it about Indiana’s version that has them so worked up?

In this episode we take a look at the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and how we got to the point where Indiana (and a lot of other States) felt compelled to pass such a law.

The story begins in the migrant worker farmed fields of Texas in the 1930’s, with a child born to migrant farm workers who will go on to fight for Civil rights and to freely express his religious beliefs…

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