The New York Times reports on a Supreme Court decision from Monday that basically says, once you’re under arrest, your right to any form of privacy goes out the window:
The Supreme Court on Monday ruled by a 5-to-4 vote that officials may strip-search people arrested for any offense, however minor, before admitting them to jails even if the officials have no reason to suspect the presence of contraband.
Of course, the usual communists are opposed:
The procedures endorsed by the majority are forbidden by statute in at least 10 states and are at odds with the policies of federal authorities. According to a supporting brief filed by the American Bar Association, international human rights treaties also ban the procedures.
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Daron Hall, the president of the American Correctional Association and sheriff of Davidson County, Tenn., said the association welcomed the flexibility offered by the decision. The association’s current standards discourage blanket strip-search policies.
At least the perp in the case deserved it:
The case … arose from the arrest of Albert W. Florence in New Jersey in 2005 [who] was in the passenger seat of his BMW when a state trooper pulled his wife, April, over for speeding. A records search revealed an outstanding warrant for Mr. Florence’s arrest based on an unpaid fine. (The information was wrong; the fine had been paid.) Mr. Florence was held for a week in jails in Burlington and Essex Counties, and he was strip-searched in each.
Well, it IS a necessary part of intake, to prohibit contraband…
For instance, in a study of 23,000 people admitted to a correctional facility in Orange County, N.Y., using that standard, there was at most one instance of contraband detected that would not otherwise have been found, Judge Breyer wrote.
I’m sure the majority has a good reason for it, though?
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, joined by the court’s conservative wing, wrote that courts are in no position to second-guess the judgments of correctional officials…
I agree that judges typically should give discretion to decision-makers who are closer to the problem, who have more experience, etc. A judge should not replace expert opinion with his own judgment, unless absolutely necessary. Yet here, we have 10 states that have legal bans on the procedure, the ABA says it violates international law, the ACA is against it, studies have shown it to be useless, and the plaintiff was subjected to at least two strip searches during a week in jail for a fine that he actually had paid…and Justice Kennedy thinks that it’d be presumptuous to say that the policy isn’t more important than the Bill of Rights.
The man is now relishing his role as swing vote. He’s basically going to milk that as long as he can by being unpredictable until his book deal comes through. The only mystery at this point is what pretentious two-word title he’ll use for it.