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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 “Right” To Lie?

How can you tell when a politician is lying?

His (her) lips move…

I don’t know if you were aware of this or not, but today the Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case of an Ohio LAW THAT PROHIBITS¬† “FALSE” STATEMENTS in political campaigns. Generally speaking this is seen as a test case for the limits on free speech, but it is far more than simply whether or not politicians, or anybody else for that matter, has a “right” to lie.

If it were that simple, the ruling would be 9-0 that, of course we have a “right” to lie. The 1st Amendment protects speech that is unpopular and unseemly. So if a dirt bag wannabe can wander around wearing most of an E8 Uniform with Ranger and EOD and Airborne Tabs claiming to be the worlds youngest Master Sergeant, or some Water Board clown in SoCal can claim to have a Medal of Honor, then of course politicians can lie about whether or not they intend to lower the budget or not. It’s common sense. Read the rest of this entry

Disagreement Is Not Dislike (For the 1000th time)

I don’t know how many times I have said this on the air, but it has to be in the hundreds of times. When combined with the number of times its been said off the air directly to the politicians, that number is even larger. It is simple and it is true – disagreement is not dislike. If you’re making a political issue disagreement into something personal, that’s YOUR problem, not mine. You wanted the job, the spotlight, the power and the authority. So deal with the fact that not only ARE you going to questioned and critiqued, according to the people who wrote the Constitution, you MUST be questioned and critiqued.
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