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substantial constitutional obstacle

The Court did leave one crucial issue for future consideration by lower courts: the question of what exactly counts as an “excessive” in the civil forfeiture context. That is likely to be a hotly contested issue in the lower federal courts over the next few years. The ultimate effect of today’s decision depends in large part on how that question is resolved. If courts rule that only a few unusually extreme cases qualify as excessive, the impact of Timbs might be relatively marginal. But, hopefully, that will not prove to be the case.I also agree with Ilya regarding the application of the excessive-fines clause to the actual facts of the Timbs case itself. Indiana seized a $42,000 Land Rover when the maximum criminal fine for the offense was $10,000. In other words, through civil-asset forfeiture, the state could impose four times the monetary penalty while adjudicating the case under a lower burden of proof.It is entirely just to impose proportionate criminal penalties for criminal acts. It is fundamentally unjust to supplement those criminal penalties with exorbitant additional civil forfeitures. That injustice is magnified when police departments have direct financial incentives to collect as much property as they can. Today, the Supreme Court began the process of rolling back a serious constitutional abuse. Good for the Court, and congratulations to the excellent attorneys at the Institute for Justice who litigated the case.