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Dammit, Donald Trump is not the boss of us! We are not going to allow his giant, orange ass to blot out the sun. Other stuff is still happening, it still matters, and we're still going to discuss it. So let's talk about what went down at the Supreme Court yesterday. Because, despite the GOP's best efforts to ratfuck the judiciary, our court system is still working more or less properly.

Yesterday's oral argument in Timbs v. Indiana boils down to one basic question: Can state and local government just take all your shit if you commit a minor crime? Only they said it in legalese, which translates to "Does the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on excessive fines apply to state seizures through in rem proceedings?" Sexy!

When adopted, the Bill of Rights -- that is, the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution -- were not understood to apply to the states. But over time, courts have held that local governments are bound by specific Amendments. You do have the right to remain silent, whether you're (not) talking to the FBI or to the local sheriff. We are all in agreement that the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment means prisoners can't be flogged. The issue before the Court yesterday was whether the other part of the Eighth Amendment, the ban on excessive fines, is also incorporated, i.e. does it apply to the states.

And if you're saying to yourself, "Well, duh! It can possibly be legal for Sheriff Hogg to seize the General Lee just because he finds an empty bottle of moonshine in the trunk," well, you and Justice Gorsuch are in total agreement. (And you're dating yourself.)


JUSTICE GORSUCH: I mean, most -- most of the incorporation cases took place in like the 1940s.

MR. FISHER: Right.

JUSTICE GORSUCH: And here we are in 2018 --­

MR. FISHER: Right.

JUSTICE GORSUCH: -- still litigating incorporation of the Bill of Rights. Really? Come on, General.

(The Solicitor General of Indiana, Thomas M. Fisher, is referred to as General. It's a weird world.)

Even Justice Kegstand is on the right side of this one.

JUSTICE KAVANAUGH: Well, for the clause, why do you have to take into account all of the history, to pick up on Justice Gorsuch's question? Isn't it just too late in the day to argue that any of the Bill of Rights is not incorporated? [...] But aren't -- but aren't all -- all the Bill of Rights at this point in our conception of what they stand for, the history of each of them, incorporated?

Yeah, still not forgiving that guy. Never gonna happen. But let's move on to the facts of this case.

In 2013, Tyson Timbs was a small-time drug dealer in Indiana with a serious heroin problem. He was also the owner of a really nice car, a LandRover LR2, purchased that year for $42,058.30 with proceeds from his father's life insurance policy. The police sent a confidential informant to buy small amounts of heroin from Timbs, once at his apartment, and once at a gas station where he sold the informant two grams of heroin for $260. The local police then seized his $42,000 car, arguing that it was used in the commission of a crime.

Technically, they sued the car itself, bringing a suit in rem, i.e. against a thing, as well as in personam, i.e. against Tyson Timbs as a person. Which is why his case looked like this.

Timbs's lawyer Wesley Hottot of the Institute for Justice faced some handwringing from Justices Alito and Roberts over dragging the Supreme Court into annoying fights over the definition of "excessive." That Chief Justice Roberts is a bold thinker -- said no one ever.

Then it was General Fisher's turn at the podium, where he got SMACKED. Justice Breyer even got him to admit that, by Indiana's logic, it would be totes cool for the state to seize a Bugatti if someone were driving it five miles over the speed limit.

JUSTICE BREYER: So what is to happen if a state needing revenue says anyone who speeds has to forfeit the Bugatti, Mercedes, or a special Ferrari or even jalopy?

(Laughter.)

MR. FISHER: There -- no, there is no -- there is no excessive fines issue there. I -- what I will say and what I think is important to -- to remember is that there is a constitutional limit, which is the proof of instrumentality, the need to prove nexus. [Meaning, was the forfeited asset used in commission of the crime.]

JUSTICE BREYER: That isn't a problem because it was the Bugatti in which he was speeding.

(Laughter.)

MR. FISHER: Right.

JUSTICE BREYER: So -- so there is all the nexus.

MR. FISHER: Historically -­

JUSTICE BREYER: Now I just wonder, what -- what is it? What is it? Is that just permissible under the Constitution?

MR. FISHER: To forfeit the Bugatti for speeding?

JUSTICE BREYER: Yeah, and, by the way, it was only five miles an hour -­

MR. FISHER: Yeah.

JUSTICE BREYER: -- above the speed limit.

MR. FISHER: Well, you know, the answer is yes. And I would call your attention to the -­

JUSTICE BREYER: Is it yes?

MR. FISHER: Yes, it's forfeitable.

You really, really don't want to be that guy. Ian Millhiser at Think Progress has an interesting analysis of a split between Bush and Trump appointees in this case. But we note that Clarence Thomas isn't impressed with podunk sheriffs who fill their towns' coffers by shaking down passing drivers, either.

So, yes, everything is awful all the time. But if the Supreme Court finally intervenes and stops rapacious local governments from using minor crimes to hoover up assets -- and it sure looks like it will -- it's a very Nice TIme. We're not used to being on the same said as Justice Gorsuch, but ... "Come on, General!"

[Timbs v. Indiana]

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Five Dollar Feminist

Your FDF lives in Baltimore under an assumed identity as an upstanding member of the PTA. Shhh, don't tell anyone she makes swears on the internet!

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Once upon a time... about ten years ago, a group of entirely ridiculous men burst onto the scene wearing stupid hats and telling men that wearing stupid hats and telling men that walking up to women in bars and insulting ("negging") them would get them laid. This did not last long, as women also had televisions and computers and were completely aware of these tricks as well, so when some ass came up to us in a bar and said "Hey, nice nails, are they real?" we would laugh and laugh and loudly announce "Oh my god, this guy just tried to neg me! Can you believe that shit? HEY EVERYONE, THIS GUY JUST TRIED TO NEG ME!" and then refer to him as "Mystery" the whole night.

Most of the men who tried that shit only did so a few times before realizing that it wasn't going to work, and thus moved on to other things. Perhaps things that did not involve furry hats and coming off as a huge creep. We may never know, because I would assume that those who tried it are now extremely embarrassed and would never, ever admit to this to us.

Still, there were a few men willing to eat that shit up, as well as some grifters willing to take advantage of that. Said grifters tended to be extremely misogynistic and seemed more like they were teaching men how to be as despised by women as they were than teaching them how to actually be liked by women.

Some of them, like Roosh V, a creepy weirdo who actually does live in his mom's basement, actively encouraged men to rape women who were intoxicated to the point of being obviously unable to consent.

However, even that branch of the PUA tree is wilting away. Many "self-help" style PUA forums like Nextasf and RSDnation are shutting down or have already shut down. In March, Chateau Heartiste, a batshit crazy PUA turned White Nationalist/Alt-Right blog was shut down by Wordpress. This week, rape advocate Roosh V (whom you may recall once called yours truly a "Wonkette typist/clown face, would not bang") announced that he was renouncing his PUA ways and devoting himself to Jesus. He explained to the forum he manages that he would no longer be allowing anyone to discuss premarital "fornication."

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'Baby Geniuses' star Jon Voight took to Twitter early this morning to proclaim his undying love for Donald Trump, probably because there is no one left in his life who will listen to him talk about this, or anything else, in person. In this video rant, Voight encouraged members of the Republican Party, whom he apparently thinks are the only real citizens of the United States, to stand by Donald Trump and "acknowledge the truth" that he is the best President since Abraham Lincoln.


Part ONE:

People of the Republican Party, I know you will agree with me when I say our president has our utmost respect and our love. This job is not easy. For he's battling the left and their absurd words of destruction. I've said this once and I'll say this again. That our nation has been built on the solid ground from our forefathers, and there is a moral code of duty that has been passed on from President Lincoln. I'm here today to acknowledge the truth, and I'm here today to tell you my fellow Americans that our country…

Oh no, not our absurd words of destruction!

Part DEUX:

is stronger, safer, and with more jobs because our President has made his every move correct. Don't be fooled by the political left, because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph. So let us stand with our president. Let us stand up for this truth, that President Trump is the greatest president since President Lincoln.

Does Jon Voight not know there have been... other presidents? Can he name them? Because really, it does not sound like it. Does he also not know that a very big chunk of the Republican Party actually does not care very much for Abraham Lincoln? Namely those defenders of Confederate statues that Trump called "very fine people?" Also, did he intentionally diss their beloved Ronald Reagan?

Who can know? Who can even tell what he is trying to say or why he is trying to say it. He doesn't appear to have tweeted much since 2016, so I'm guessing whoever's job it was to keep him from tanking his career quit. Either that... or after filming the seventh season of Ray Donovan, he found out it's going to be canceled or his character is getting killed off or something and he is now free to be a jackass? I don't know, I haven't watched the show, although my parents are very into it and mad that I haven't watched it. Literally all I know about it is that it has something to do with Boston, because they keep mentioning that to me like it's a selling point.

It seems useless at this point to note that the people who scream their faces off about how bad it is for Hollywood celebs to support liberal causes, and how they should keep their politics to themselves, etc. etc. make a way bigger deal than normal people do whenever a Big Time Hollywood Celebrity like Jon Voight or, uh, Scott Baio, supports their cause. Mostly because they're the only ones who have elected a reality TV star and the star of Bedtime for Bonzo (who by the way, also once practically ruined a perfectly good Bette Davis movie with his bad acting. Which is not to say that Dark Victory is not fantastic and probably the best thing to watch if you want to sob your face off, but he was very bad in it.) to run the country.

But we might as well do that anyway, because it actually never stops being funny.

[Jon Voight Twitter]

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