Our Civic Religion

In this age of polarization (exemplified by Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings) is there any constitutional issue that could unite the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the ACLU, the Chamber of Commerce, the Pacific Legal Foundation, Judicial Watch, the Brennan Center, and the Constitutional Accountability Center (among others)?The answer is yes. These groups have all filed amicus briefs asking the Supreme Court to incorporate the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment. Timbs v. Indiana presents that issue in the next Term in the context of aggressive state and local civil forfeitures of property involved in crimes. This forfeiture power is subject to (and regularly produces) rampant abuse but is largely insulated from the scrutiny of the federal courts. I certainly think that the Excessive Fines Clause should be incorporated and I think there is a good chance that a broad coalition on the Court will agree.There is another point lurking being the widespread…

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