Feb 20, 2019

Supreme Court ruling protects citizens against excessive state fines

In this image, pedestrians walk on a snowy sidewalk in front of the Supreme Court.

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

In a decision announced Wednesday by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Timbs v. Indiana that the 8th Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause applies to state and local governments.

Details: The ruling limits states' abilities to seize property and prevents them from imposing excessive fines on citizens who break the law. The court sided with Tyson Timbs of Marion, Indiana, whose $42,000 Land Rover SUV was seized by the state after he pleaded guilty to selling heroin to undercover cops.

Go deeper: The Supreme Court cases to watch this spring

Go deeper