Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Big Case in Arizona

As much fun as I've been having with these other goofballs, I have to interrupt everything to say that today the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that one of the state's categorical "no bail" provisions was unlawful under the United States Constitution. It did so by holding up the Arizona provision to the opinion in United States v. Salerno. You can read it here.

Two things. First, if more state courts (or federal courts) start holding up state detention provisions to Salerno, we're going to see a lot of those provisions declared unconstitutional.

Second, this is as important, if not more important than any other thing going on in this generation of bail reform. Yet, for some reason, the bail insurance companies don't get involved in this aspect of bail, and I don't think they even know about the cases or the issues.

As we speak, the bail insurance companies are filing an amicus brief in a federal district court in Texas because they think they're going to start losing money in Harris County. I think that if those companies really cared about bail, they'd at least consider filing a brief like that in a case like the one in Arizona, where the issue goes to the heart of pretrial release and detention in America.