Radley Balko’s Civil Liberties Predictions for 2015

See if you can guess the sci-fi twist.

Sometimes, real life can be stranger than parody. This can be particularly true when it comes to the beat we cover here at The Watch, civil liberties. With that in mind, I’ve gone out on a limb to make some predictions about what might happen on the civil liberties front in 2015. I realize that some of these prognostications may seem a wee bit hyperbolic, a bit paranoid, maybe even a little nutty. But I think we can all agree that we should hope none of them actually do come to pass.

the cops impounded my hoverboard

[I did think Balko’s attempt at class war in re: college rape accusations was gross and unnecessary. Does it matter how much money a girl’s parents have, or is that just an attempt to manipulate audience sympathies against her? I think you can make a very careful case that it matters insofar as expanding prosecutorial power will have disproportionate effects on blacker and poorer quasi-defendants, whereas richer/more privileged people will find it easier to use the system to their advantage. But you can’t make that case responsibly in a one-liner, so it just comes off as cruel: “Whiny rich girls want special rules, wah wah. Sorry about all the rape though I guess.” Rest of the article is great though.]

Oh and if that isn’t cheery enough for ya, “Return of the debtors’ prison? Many still jailed for inability to pay fines.” “So you and your wife were found not guilty of the traffic violations. But still you were being arrested.”

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