230 years ago, today, December 15th, 2021, the Bill of Rights was ratified and became the first ten amendments to the US Constitution.

230 years later, those who ratified the Bill of Rights would be deeply disturbed. The purpose of the Bill of Rights is to guarantee the people of the United States certain personal rights and limit government powers. More and more, the US Government has been trying to eliminate rights and increase power in the name of the cause of those in power.

The Supreme Court

The purpose of the Supreme Court is to interpret the constitution and rule on cases brought before it.

Thankfully, the founders were brilliant enough to understand the separation of powers and the need for an independent court that is required to interpret the Constitution without consideration for personal belief. Over the past few years, we have seen the Supreme Court strike down several executive orders issued by Presidents who overstepped their authority with an unconstitutional order. The founders created three branches of government. Separation of powers so no one person or branch could unconstitutionally increase government or reduce rights of citizens.

More Government Power

Covid has been the greatest accelerator of larger government and a reduction of personal rights. Trillions of dollars spent in the name of helping those adversely effected by Covid even if there was no adverse effect. New government programs were launched with many more still pending legislative approval.

Steps had to be taken or our economy and country would have collapsed. The question becomes a constitutional one. Can the government disregard the constitution in the name of a pandemic? The Supreme Court has ruled several times that the government cannot disregard the Constitution.

The 8th Amendment

The 8th Amendment of the Constitution is clearly written. ”Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

In the United States, those accused of almost all crimes have the right to bail. Bail is imbedded in our founding and our Constitution. A few years ago rapper/singer/songwriter Rocky A$AP was arrested in Sweden while on tour. Long story short, he was arrested for his involvement in a street fight he did not instigate. Since Sweden does not have a right to bail, he was held in jail for weeks without any ability to be released on bail.

Bail Reform or Regress?

Currently, there are two bills pending in the US House; HR 1249 and HR 2152. These bills are in the name of “bail reform” and would severely diminish the right to bail. It would eliminate the potential for an accused person to post a bond. It would essentially create a Sweden type jail system of either release or hold. There would be no other options. In addition, it would handcuff judges from making decisions. These bills would greatly increase government while reducing personal rights. In addition, it would cost taxpayers billions of dollars. HR 1249 and HR 2152 is another example of the US government attempting to increase government and reduce personal rights.

www.bailmatters.com was created to educate the public and legislators of the dangers of “bail reform” (HR 1249 and HR 2152). It provides the public with the ability to voice their objections to so called bail reform.

Many legislators are beginning to realize that bail reform is really bail regress. New York, Utah, Alaska, Delaware and a number of counties that implemented bail reform, have either repealed all or most of the bail reforms passed. Why? It does not work! Nancy Pelosi recently stated something had to be done about the crime problem in San Francisco. Over several years, San Francisco implemented many of the same bail reform proposals as noted in HR 1249 and HR 5152. Now the citizens and tourists in San Francisco are suffering the consequences of bail regress.

Reversing Harmful Bail Reform

A self-proclaimed bail reformist district attorney in Houston, TX has reversed her position on bail reform. DA Kim Ogg stated: “Bail reform,” as presently practiced in some Harris County courts, will continue to be a driving factor in the crime crisis gripping our community.” Her scathing 64 page reports provides statistics, graphs, and in-depth analysis of Harris County prior to “bail reform” and after implemented. He report and her testimony prove bail reform is a failure to the law-abiding citizens.

About Ken Berke

Ken Berke is a licensed bail agent in Florida. As Executive Vice President of Roche Surety & Casualty Co. Inc. he frequently travels throughout the United States meeting with bail agents and the public to increase awareness of the professionalism and importance of the bail industry to victims, defendants and the judicial system. He is a frequent contributor to the Roche Surety blog where he dispels false claims against the 8th Amendment and bail through facts, statistics and logic.