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Pa., N.J. suspend tens of thousands of drivers’ licenses a year for not paying court costs. Is that constitutional?

July 30, 2018

A Temple University Police officer issues a parking ticket on the school’s campus.

By Staff

Driver’s licenses of hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania and New Jersey drivers have been suspended in the last several years for failure to pay court costs related to low-level offenses. Now, advocates and some public officials are trying to put the brakes on a practice that they say unfairly punishes the poor.

A federal court in Tennessee earlier this month declared a similar system unconstitutional; a bill that would modify the Pennsylvania law is pending in the state legislature, and advocates are eyeing other remedies.

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