Prohibitions on excessive fines date back at least as far as Magna Carta in 1215, and the U.S. Constitution has barred excessive fines since 1791. But the Supreme Court has only recently begun to interpret what the Excessive Fines Clause means, and it wasn’t until 2019 that the Court said the Clause applies to the states.

On this episode: the story of how the Supreme Court finally began to incorporate the Bill of Rights rights against the states and the history of excessive fines.

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