Feb 20, 2019

Supreme Court ruling protects citizens against excessive state fines

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

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Skepticism rises over government's small business bailouts

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

America today launched its $350 billion bailout for small businesses, and already there is widespread skepticism that the program will run smoothly or be large enough to meet demand.

What's new: House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy yesterday said that the affiliation rule will be waived for any company with less than 500 employees that doesn't have a controlling outside shareholder, thus making most VC-backed startups eligible for PPP loans. This was based on a conversation he'd just had with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The chaotic thaw in oil price wars

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Friday morning brought the news that the OPEC+ group will meet remotely Monday to discuss potentially steep production curbs, sending prices upwards on the prospect of easing the global glut as coronavirus crushes demand.

Why it matters: The meeting, reported by multiple outlets, is the second concrete sign in two days of new coordinated efforts since the OPEC+ supply management alliance — led by megaproducers Saudi Arabia and Russia — collapsed a month ago.

Bored athletes take to Instagram to connect with fans during coronavirus shutdown

Data: Instagram data as of April 2, 2020; Note: Presented on a log scale. James Harden deleted his account in January 2020; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Without live sports, one of the only ways for athletes to reach cooped-up fans during the coronavirus pandemic is directly through social media.

Driving the news: Bored athletes have taken to Instagram and other platforms to share casual quarantine moments, host livestreams with other athletes, post daily workouts and even interview health experts.

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