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Time to take the 14th Amendment seriously. Any feature of the legal system that discriminates on the basis of personal resources is a violation of due process and equal protection of the law. Nice to see the Justice department is apply this concept to bail, but it needs to go much, much further. If the defense can only spend $1000 on a case, the prosecutor gets to spend that. They can introduce the evidence acquired during the first $1000 of police work. If they hit that ceiling, they work pro bono. The less affluent party in any civil suit sets the limit on what can be spent. Every successful party in every action, civil or criminal, gets to bill the opposing party for costs. That means the public defender gets to bill the DA, and vice versa.

All “zero tolerance” policies are an obvious violation of due process. If two kids get into a fight, find out who was the aggressor. And if mommy and daddy want to take you to court, they can be prepared to pay if they lose.

And apply it to political process, too. Pass limits on campaign spending, and this time defend them on 14th Amendment grounds: that large campaign spending deprives less affluent citizens of equal protection under the law.

Also, since the 14th Amendment says the states shall not enforce any law that deprives people of due process, or deny people equal protection, you can argue strongly that it extends to private parties as well. The State using its legal authority to block suits against private parties or passing laws that shield private parties from accountability, clearly denies people their due process rights.

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