Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Fourth Amendment rights take another hit!

Going against what seemed to be the direction of the precedents and the holdings of most lower courts, the Supreme Court increased government power to conduct strip searches of anyone placed in the general jail population, even if the placement is temporary. There is no requirement of any reasonable suspicion or that the person be arrested for a drug, weapons or violent crime. Justice Kennedy voted with the conservatives to allow the search. The liberals dissented. I go with them on this one. Kennedy and the conservatives have consistently, but not always, voted against Fourth Amendment rights and the exclusionary rule. As on wag put it: "Civil liberties are so pre-9-11."


  1. The petitioner would have been subject to lesser but similar treatment boarding an airline. Regardless of how minor an offense, the correctional staff must follow their SOP. The strip search was used to maintain cell sterility regardless of the jailed occupant, not dig for incriminating evidence. That said, why was this individual put behind bars if authorities didn't have reasonable cause? I have to agree with Justice Kennedy.

  2. Jail safely is imperative. I have problems with the fact that folks are brought to jail when a simple summons would suffice.