Professor Suja Thomas wrote a response to the Supreme Court decision in Timbs v. Indiana for The George Washington Law Review. An excerpt from the piece follows:
"Timbs v. Indiana isn’t a surprising case. Over time, the United States Supreme Court successively has decided that different parts of the Bill of Rights are incorporated against the states via the Fourteenth Amendment. In Timbs, the Court followed that series of cases by its decision to apply the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment to the states. What the Court failed to do was to mention the few rights that remain unincorporated—and to attempt to justify why.
"In the case, Timbs pleaded guilty to the state offenses of dealing in a controlled substance and conspiracy to commit theft. Because Timbs had used a Land Rover SUV in the commission of the crime, Indiana sought civil forfeiture of the $42,000 vehicle. The trial court denied this request because $42,000 was over four times the maximum amount of the $10,000 fine that could be assessed against the defendant for his criminal conviction. Because this fine would be out of proportion with the crime, it would violate the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment. After the court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision, the Indiana Supreme Court decided that the Clause was irrelevant as it did not apply to the states and thus, Indiana."
Read the full response.