Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, essay for 8 justices, pronounced a doubt was an easy one. “The chronological and judicious box for final that a 14th Amendment incorporates a Excessive Fines Clause is overwhelming,” she wrote.
“For good reason, a insurance opposite extreme fines has been a consistent defense via Anglo-American history: Exorbitant tolls criticise other inherent liberties,” she wrote. “Excessive fines can be used, for example, to retort opposite or chill a debate of domestic enemies.”
“Even absent a domestic motive,” she wrote, quoting from an progressing decision, “fines might be employed ‘in a magnitude out of settle with a penal goals of atonement and deterrence,’ for ‘fines are a source of revenue,’ while other forms of punishment ‘cost a state money.’ ”
Justice Ginsburg wrote that extreme fines have played a dim purpose in this nation’s history.
“Following a Civil War,” she wrote, “Southern States enacted Black Codes to enslave slaves and say a prewar secular hierarchy. Among these laws’ supplies were draconian fines for violating extended proscriptions on ‘vagrancy’ and other indeterminate offenses.”
The justice left open a doubt of either a seizure of a Land Rover amounted to an extreme fine, withdrawal a fortitude to reduce courts. But Justice Ginsburg suggested that a chastisement was jagged to a offense.