By Adam Liptak
Feb. 20, 2019, 24
“WASHINGTON — Siding with a small time drug offender in Indiana whose $42,000 Land Rover was seized by law enforcement officials, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that the Constitution places limits on civil forfeiture laws that allow states and localities to take and keep private property used to commit crimes.
Civil forfeiture is a popular way to raise revenue, and its use has been the subject of widespread criticism across the political spectrum.
The Supreme Court has ruled that the Eighth Amendment, which bars “excessive fines,” limits the ability of the federal government to seize property. On Wednesday, the court ruled that the clause also applies to the states.
Previously, the Supreme Court had never squarely addressed that question. It had addressed the status of the Excessive Fines Clause, but only in the context of the federal government. The court had, however, previously ruled that most protections under the Bill of Rights apply to the states — or were incorporated against them, in the legal jargon — under the 14th Amendment, one of the post-Civil War amendments.”
” “Even the lesser burdens of a criminal investigation — including preparing for questioning by criminal investigators — are time-consuming and distracting,” Judge Kavanaugh wrote. “Like civil suits, criminal investigations take the president’s focus away from his or her responsibilities to the people. And a president who is concerned about an ongoing criminal investigation is almost inevitably going to do a worse job as president.”Judge Kavanaugh said the proceedings could resume after a president left office and that impeachment remained an option before then.”
DL: This is a seriuous issue. I aggree with the following two commenters:
Philadelphia, PA1h ago
“And a president who is concerned about an ongoing criminal investigation is almost inevitably going to do a worse job as president.” – BM Kavanaugh
And a President concerned about his golf handicap is almost inevitably going to do a worse job as a president.
And a President concerned about his business interests is almost inevitably going to do a worse job as a president.
William commented 4 hours ago
Suppositions: 1) the Justice Department is conducting an investigation into Russian interference in a presidential election; that investigation includes issues related to whether persons around a now sitting president had colluded with Russia, and issues related to whether the sitting president had sought to obstruct justice; 2) the sitting president has said and done things that cause a sizeable portion of the electorate to question his motives and integrity with regard to national interests of the country.
Question: in such a circumstance regarding such high stakes – higher I would argue than those surrounding Nixon and Clinton – is it reasonable to believe that the sitting president should not be disturbed in his daily duties in order to answer questions under oath?
The answer must be that it is not reasonable and the sitting president must be disturbed and obliged to answer the questions under oath. This is not some deep, imponderable philosophical issue; it’s straight-forward common sense.