10 episodes

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.

Bound By Oath by IJ Institute for Justice

    • History
    • 4.9, 172 Ratings

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.

    Excessive Fines

    Excessive Fines

    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.

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Special Episode: Espinoza v. Montana Dept. of Revenue

    Special Episode: Espinoza v. Montana Dept. of Revenue

    On January 22, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in an IJ case, Espinoza v. Montana Dept. of Revenue. At issue is a Montana school choice program that allowed families to send their children to private schools, including religious ones. The Montana Supreme Court said the program violated the state’s Blaine Amendment, a relic of 19th-century anti-Catholic hysteria that lives on today in 37 states constitutions, and struck the program down in 2018. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, will consider whether discriminating against religious options violates the First Amendment. On this podcast, we take a look at the history of Blaine Amendments, school choice, and one-size-fits-all schooling.

    • 46 min
    Substantive Due Process

    Substantive Due Process

    If the government is going to take away life, liberty, or property, the due process of law requires it to follow fair procedures. But, according to the Supreme Court, that’s not all that due process requires. The government also must have a good reason to take life, liberty, or property. On this episode, we head to Akron, Ohio where city officials have shut down a privately run homeless community—without a good reason.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Incorporation, the Lack Thereof

    Incorporation, the Lack Thereof

    In 1842, the city of New Orleans prosecuted Father Bernard Permoli, a Catholic priest, for conducting an open casket funeral. A violation of the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment? The Supreme Court said no: The protections in the Bill of Rights did not bind state and local governments.



    Then in 1868, the Fourteenth Amendment is ratified, and it incorporated the Bill of Rights against the states–or did it? On this episode, the failure of incorporation after Reconstruction.

    • 39 min
    Procedural Due Process

    Procedural Due Process

    Before the government can take away your life, liberty, or property, it must first give you due process: fair and meaningful procedure. On this episode, we trace the history of due process from 1215 to today. And we head to Harris County, Texas, which operates the the third-largest jail in the country, to see why federal courts say its system of money bail violated that ancient guarantee.

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Tangled: The Equal Protection Clause

    Tangled: The Equal Protection Clause

    After the Civil War, what many Americans needed most was protection from violence. That’s what the Equal Protection Clause was meant to guarantee, but today the Clause does entirely different work. On this episode: a tour of the history and meaning of the Clause and how African-style hair braiders use it today to protect their right to earn an honest living.

    • 1 hr 1 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
172 Ratings

172 Ratings

Jack Cholla ,

If you want to understand the 14 Amendment to the Constitution…

Listen to this.

Linda Beggs ,

Required Listening

I can't remember a podcast having a greater impact on my perspective and understanding of our judicial/criminal justice history. So glad I heard of it while listening to National Review's 'The Editors.'

We've got a long way to go to form 'a more perfect union.'

Chrispy705 ,

Spellbinding & informative

Found this last week and am already 7 episodes deep. The first two episodes are definite must-listens, and for those who want to continue learning, the following episodes are perfect for geeking out over constitutional law. I had no idea what the 14th amendment was, much less its history or far-reaching implications. To this day still very relevant.
I also have no legal experience beyond a mock trial experience in high school, so they make it very understandable. They also give great historical background and their story-telling goes a long way in making an audio legal resource not be as dry as it sounds.
Definitely highly produced, but I don’t mind. Sounds like an average NPR podcast.

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