I’m Sure This is Based on Originalism and Strong Jurisprudence

Another day, another victory for the authoritarian state the Roberts court so clearly pines for:

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.

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 who must consider not only the possibility of smuggled weapons and drugs but also public health and information about gang affiliations.

About 13 million people are admitted each year to the nation’s jails, Justice Kennedy wrote.

Under Monday’s ruling, he wrote, “every detainee who will be admitted to the general population may be required to undergo a close visual inspection while undressed.”

Justice Stephen G. Breyer, writing for the four dissenters, said strip-searches were “a serious affront to human dignity and to individual privacy” and should be used only when there was good reason to do so.

Again, I’m sure I’m just being ignorant and reactionary when I point out the ruling was once again made by the five conservatives in favor of the state. I’m sure this is just a coincidence, and not at all a pattern we’ve witnessed. And, of course, I am not taking “into account the unusual and promising alignments of Scalia and Thomas with the’liberal’ members of the court on criminal rights. It’s just generally ignorant, obscurantist, and unbefitting of the moderator of an otherwise informed blog.”

So y’all keep that in mind when you get a full body cavity search the next time you get arrested for jaywalking. In fairness to the conservatives on the court, I can understand why they think body cavity searches are necessary for misdemeanors. You may have hidden a broccoli mandate somewhere, and nothing scares the shit out of them more than that.

*** Update ***

And one of the first comments misses the whole point:

I doubt many get arrested for jaywalking, unless they deliberately try to avoid arrest.

That matters not. What matters is the court has now given the authorities to humiliate any one they want no matter what. Read this:

Albert W. Florence believes that black men who drive nice cars in New Jersey run a risk of being questioned by the police. For that reason, he kept handy a 2003 document showing he had paid a court-imposed fine stemming from a traffic offense, just in case.

It did not seem to help.

In March 2005, Mr. Florence was in the passenger seat of his BMW when a state trooper pulled it over for speeding. His wife, April, was driving. His 4-year-old son, Shamar, was in the back.

The trooper ran a records search, and he found an outstanding warrant based on the supposedly unpaid fine. Mr. Florence showed the trooper the document, but he was arrested anyway.

The man in this case WASN’T EVEN CHARGED WITH A CRIME. He was a passenger in his wife’s car when she was pulled over for speeding, and there was an invalid warrant for his arrest for unpaid fines. Even though he had proof in the vehicle the fines were paid, he was arrested for… NOTHING at all. Got it?

It doesn’t matter how many people are arrested for jaywalking or whatever, the court in this case just decided it was ok to stripsearch this guy for an INVALID ARREST.

Please stop making excuses for how fucking radical this court is. Jesus.






110 replies
  1. 1
    redshirt says:

    If you don’t get arrested you have nothing to fear…

  2. 2
    balconesfault says:

    I doubt many get arrested for jaywalking, unless they deliberately try to avoid arrest.

    This will be a great tool for further degrading treatment for protestors who the local police feel they need to round up from time to time.

  3. 3
    David in NY says:

    I’m sure all those Congresspeople and state legislators whom he libertarian Koch brothers have bought will vote to make such searches illegal by statute. /weak sarcasm

  4. 4
    beltane says:

    The conservative justices are working to transform this country into a giant prison camp without an infirmary.

  5. 5
    SteveM says:

    Well, what do you know? The guy who was wrongly arrested and strip-searched was black!

    I would never have guessed!

  6. 6
    MobiusKlein says:

    Isn’t the bigger problem arresting all these innocent folks, stuffing them in jail for weeks?

    Being put in jail for violating a leash law seems more the problem, than exactly how they search you.

  7. 7
    Butch says:

    Part of the opinion actually says that the cops have a legitimate interest in looking for tattoos. Since I have 11, I apparently am a hardened criminal.

  8. 8
    kdaug says:

    @MobiusKlein:

    Isn’t the bigger problem arresting all these innocent folks, stuffing them in jail for weeks?

    Empty bunks aren’t earning any cash.

  9. 9
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    The trooper ran a records search, and he found an outstanding warrant based on the supposedly unpaid fine. Mr. Florence showed the trooper the document, but he was arrested anyway.

    Is it normal to run a records search on a passenger? Would his name have come up with his wife’s search if they have the same name? Or is “A black shouldn’t be riding in a BMW, much less driving one”?

  10. 10
    The Tragically Flip says:

    Well I guess there’s no point anymore to my habit of keeping a folding knife and a bag of weed jammed up my anus at all times on the oft chance I am arrested so I will have a weapon and a source of drugs while awaiting trial.

    Good “common sense” ruling there conservatives. Metal detectors and pat downs is good enough to keep terrorist bombs off airplanes, but people arrested clearly need the full Terry Gilliam-Brazil treatment. Better put them in full body hoods too. Hell, why not the full Hannibal Lecter treatment? Wheeled gurneys and hockey masks.

  11. 11
    kerFuFFler says:

    This also seems like it would work as a handy tool for suppressing demonstrators. Who is going to want to risk an arrest when the process can now be so much more demeaning?

  12. 12
    Comrade Dread says:

    I’m Sure This is Based on Originalism and Strong Jurisprudence

    Well, in fairness, I’m pretty sure Tom Jefferson was in favor of strip searching at least one young black woman.

  13. 13
    JGabriel says:

    So, basically, this is a license for any police officer to stop a woman, arrest her under any pretense he chooses, and strip-search her just because he thinks she’s hot and wants to get a close-up view?

    I mean, seriously, what’s to stop him?

  14. 14
    Coupon the Movie says:

    The real story here is that Gore and Bush would have been the same president and really, either one of those guys would have nominated Roberts and Alito.

    Vote Nader.

  15. 15
    campionrules says:

    @Butch:

    Lol – sadly that may be the case for some police officers. However, records of tattoos or any body modifications are made because they act as important personal identifiers.

    It’s pretty common for criminals to give false names and identities and a very good way to confirm a John Doe is the specific body modification that tied to their profile in NCIC or the state run registry.

    But no, multiple tattoos doesn’t equal criminal – although they will certainly note them all if you get arrested. Gang tats are a common way to get ‘probable cause’

  16. 16
    Yelli says:

    The origin of this case is very interesting given the news cycle lately. A black man driving a BMW was strip searched for not paying a civil fine some years ago when he was pulled over. He had actually paid the fine and even kept proof in his car for the very real reason that sometimes, people (and even police) are suspicious of black men, even ones that drive nice cars.

    He was strip searched 2X and held in jail for 7 days until a judge finally ordered him released. W.T.F.

    Besides all of the obvious problems in the above story, when did we start send people to debtors prison county jail when people don’t pay fines? Where are the Charles Dickens of our generation when you need ’em?

  17. 17
    jl says:

    Roberts may be salvageable in cases where corporate dough is not at stake, though I doubt it. Something told him that the decision was wrong, but he went ahead anyway:

    ‘ Chief Justice Roberts, quoting from an earlier decision, said that exceptions to Monday’s ruling were still possible “to ensure that we ‘not embarrass the future.’ ” ‘

    Say what you want about Greenwald, I did get some good advice from his column: read some of the Supreme Court decisions, particularly anything by Scalia. Not sure I have time to read this one, but so far, the nasty ones of his that I have read on civil liberties reduce to

    “Hey, we want a run a nice place here, unnerstan’?”
    and
    ” Oh my God, lock ’em all up and smash ’em down, or we’re all gonna die die die die!”

    Not sure which of those two legal principles was in Salia’s head for this one. Except for one or two important and correct decisions, those two phrases pretty much sum up Scalia’s legal theories on civil liberties.

  18. 18
    Tony J says:

    It’s not like I’m putting anything in you, I’m just looking, like the Constitution says I can.

    Little to the right.

  19. 19
    C.J. says:

    @Yelli:

    They’re in jail too.

  20. 20
    msskwesq says:

    Really disturbing from an attorney’s point of view that he was arrested under false claim of an unpaid traffic fine and kept for SIX DAYS! What was that judge thinking at his initial appearance.

  21. 21
    Butch says:

    @campionrules: It kinda struck a chord because so many people make the leap between tattoo and jail time. I can’t tell you how many people have asked when I was in prison.

  22. 22
    gnomedad says:

    Shrinking government until it fits into body cavities.

  23. 23
    celticdragonchick says:

    Sickeningly, this validates what happened to Shoshanna Hebshi when she was pulled off a flight for the crime of sitting next to a guy with bowel distress on a flight that happened to be on 9/11 last year. She was detained for hours in a cell while still in handcuffs, strip searched and had all her social media passwords demanded.

    And we are good with that now.

  24. 24
    JGabriel says:

    @kerFuFFler:

    This also seems like it would work as a handy tool for suppressing demonstrators. Who is going to want to risk an arrest when the process can now be so much more demeaning?

    Oh yeah, the scope for selective stripping is off the charts now.

    Interesting that the Conservative Supreme Court Justices don’t think the state can tell you to buy health insurance, but that it can order you to take off your clothes at and for its officers’ pleasure.

    .

  25. 25
    catdevotee says:

    I actually did have a friend who was arrested for jay-walking in downtown Dallas because he had some unpaid parking tickets. They took him to jail until his wife was able to leave her job to bring cash to spring him. Oddly enough, he is white – can’t imagine what would have happened to him if he had been of darker color.

  26. 26
    Maude says:

    When I read the headline the word that pooped into my head was fascism. The rights of the individual were put below the state’s.
    The NJ case, well, good ole righty radio thought there was nothing wrong with the arrest etc. In fact, one NYC righty radio Einstein says profiling is good.

  27. 27
    Fwiffo says:

    he was arrested for… NOTHING at all. Got it?

    Last time I checked, driving while black was still an arrestable offense in this country.

  28. 28
    The Tragically Flip says:

    I really don’t understand what makes many of the more legally oriented liberals somehow give credit to the 4 conservative justices for being sincere legal scholars and jurists firstmost in their rulings. They’re movement conservatives. They have deep track records as such, and they have the least accountable jobs in the world with absolutely no one to please but themselves. As long as there are 38 Republican senators and they don’t get arrested for a dead girl or live boy, they will never ever be removed from the bench. I’m not even sure a dead girl would do the trick to be honest (I can just picture the Mary Jo Kopechne bleating already).

    What exactly is it you think prevents them from reaching the conservative conclusion they want, then filling in some legal sophistry as needed to support it? The fact that they’re on-paper legal scholars with plenty of clerks just makes them better and doing this sort of thing, but even so I (non lawyer) read gaping holes in their reasoning in case after case. Bush v. Gore was the ballgame, where they showed the lengths they would go to. Different counties have different voting standards and thus recounting is an equal protection violation. What. The. Holy. Fuck…

    And no, pointing out some relatively sane rulings they make on cases that are unimportant to the wider conservative movement, or times where they join the majority since they lost Kennedy anyway don’t placate me. Fake-moderate legislators play this game too with throw-away votes where the outcome isn’t in doubt. What do these 4 do when the chips are down? Movement conservativism wearing a veneer of legalese, every time.

  29. 29
    Culture of Truth says:

    It doesn’t matter how many people are arrested for jaywalking or whatever, the court in this case just decided it was ok to stripsearch this guy for an INVALID ARREST.

    True, but that wasn’t the point.

  30. 30
    Svensker says:

    @JGabriel:

    Interesting that the Conservative Supreme Court Justices don’t think the state can tell you to buy health insurance, but that it can order you to take off your clothes at/for its officers’ pleasure.

    If you don’t do anything wrong, you have nothing to fear.

    Likewise, if you were a good person, you wouldn’t get sick without health insurance.

  31. 31
    amk says:

    fucking up america, case by case basis.

  32. 32
    Culture of Truth says:

    I would point out also he was jailed for 7 days and strip searched twice for an ‘arrest’ based on nothing.

  33. 33
    rageahol says:

    Roberts’ vague hedging is the inverse of bush’s signing statements.

  34. 34
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    The charge is incidental when the arrest is the sought after ends.

  35. 35
    wrb says:

    If women would just go back to wearing dresses there would be no need to strip them.

  36. 36
    Clime Acts says:

    Please stop making excuses for how fucking radical this court is. Jesus.

    Is there someone here at BJ doing this?

  37. 37
    Satanicpanic says:

    Republicans should just come out and admit that they are pro-molestation.

  38. 38
    Silver says:

    We are all IRA now…

    (I watched the movie Hunger recently. I assume that sort of prison treatment is a-ok, as long at the members exhibit some of that “new professionalism” that Fat Tony seems to like so much.)

    Oh well. I can only hope that someday it comes back to bite Thomas (and not just his nephew) in the ass someday.

  39. 39
    Culture of Truth says:

    I’ve never heard of probable cause from a gang tatoo but I suppose anything is possible.

  40. 40
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Hey, I never said they weren’t a bunch of authoritarian douchebags. As far as Fat Tony’s “liberal” rulings go, they are few and far between. He does take a certain perverse pride in them though. Nothing in this ruling gives any indication of how they will rule on the ACA.

  41. 41
    Brachiator says:

    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 who must consider not only the possibility of smuggled weapons and drugs but also public health and information about gang affiliations.

    From Miranda to “we can’t second-guess the authorities,” in a generation.

    By the way, for those keeping count, Miranda v Arizona was a 5-4 decision in favor of civil liberties. I’ve been seeing of late, whining that 5-4 decisions are somehow always bad.

  42. 42
    Brian says:

    A few minor points from Outside the Beltway:

    – the searching is only “acceptable” if a prisoner is to be put in general population. It’s more limited than “I have pulled you over, drop ’em danny-boy.”

    – Florence’s previous arrest and fine – the one he was incorrectly rearrested for – was for obstr. of justice and possession of deadly weapon.

    The decision is still very iffy. It basically says ‘if we suspect you for any reason of having a weapon…’ (including, I assume, bad vibes/color of skin/tattoes/knowledge of martial arts/having a gun license/looking at me funny/someone like you had a weapon at one point I was told by some guy I know) ‘…and you’re going to prison/gen pop, we can strip search you.’

  43. 43
    retr2327 says:

    So Kennedy, the legal genius that we’re all counting on to save health care (as if!) finds that this is justifiable because people have been known to try to smuggle stuff into prisons (not kidding; that’s what he said).

    In a case like this, that would require either a remarkable amount of forethought and willingness to endure extended discomfort (as Tragically Flip suggests above), or some even more remarkable gymnastic contortions in the back seat of the police cruiser, presumably while handcuffed.

    Somehow I’m not encouraged . . .

  44. 44
    The Tragically Flip says:

    @Clime Acts:

    Read the thread John links to. Apparently Scalia wouldn’t dare reverse his own Commerce Clause ruling because he’s so consistent and Serious about his legal scholardom.

    That the best anyone even seems to suggest the ACA survives is 6-3 is hilariously depressing as far as it goes. It’s like the time there were “only” 9 Republican Senators who were pro-torture. This was supposed to be “slam dunk” constitutional, and now it is “slam dunk” in the George Tenet there-are-WMDs sense.

  45. 45
    Tonal Crow says:

    Help roll back tyranny by becoming a card-carrying member of the A.C.L.U.

  46. 46
    jl says:

    @rageahol:\

    Good point.

    I think Scalia and Thomas definitely deserve impeachment and removal from the court, but it won’t happen even we had 90 Democrat Senators and 400 Democratic Representatives, though if we get there I will start writing them about it.

    But, irritated commenters asked me to knock it off, since the the Chase and Pickering impeachments and trials more or less set the boundaries for removal short of committing a crime. But, I think there is possibility that both Scalia and Thomas will go mad.

    Only realistic hope is to swamp them with new appointees.

    Which is why, no matter how disappointing on several issues, re electing Obama, and preventing GOP takeover of Senate essential next election.

  47. 47
    Dork says:

    What’s the Wingnut Take(TM) on this? Wingy math says: 5 conservatives vote “A” + conservatives hate Obama = teatards side with SC decision for “A”. However, the math also says: teatards detest gov’t intrusion + conservatives hate Obama = teatards hate the Obama’s government.

    But now Obama’s govt gets more power due to SC decision. Wingtard heads esspload?

  48. 48
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @JGabriel: Well, that’s because buying things is sacrosanct, but your bodily privacy isn’t. QED.

  49. 49
    GregB says:

    Shut up and bend over, here comes the fickle finger of freedom.

    -Fat Tony and the Boys in Black

  50. 50
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @Brachiator:

    The problem isn’t in 5-4 decisions inherently. It’s the fact that, with this court, the decisions almost always end up in a contentious 5-4 split that adheres way too perfectly across an ideological split to be considered on principled grounds.

  51. 51
    porter says:

    Maybe I am missing something but this is Wrong Again Cole we are talking about there.

    It’s my understanding that this ruling was against a challenge to existing law. Not a newly created law.

    So you could have previously gotten a cavity search for jaywalking and that will continue business as usual.

    What is depressing is that it is yet another 5-4 on something that seems pretty clear cut. So basically another sign that the supreme court as an institution doesn’t have much credibility with the current arrangement of ideology.

    If you want to see something that really pisses you off watch the documentary “Food Inc”. They talk about the precendent setting ruling made possible by Clarence Thomas that legalizes, for the first time, the ability to own lifeforms. It was pushed through by Monsanto that now basically owns the soybean market with their roundup resistant seeds.

  52. 52
    kindness says:

    This one is going to be called ‘The Deliverance Decision’.

    Judge to defendent: ‘I will hear the case tomorrow, you are to be held at the County lockup, and by the way have I told you that you have cute ears? And another thing, could you squeal like a pig for me?’

  53. 53
    pragmatism says:

    you know something is up cato people start bleating out “defenses” of judicial activism. http://bigthink.com/the-moral-.....l-activism
    i’d call will a glibertarian but he “renounced” the libertarian view.

  54. 54
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    NYTimes via John Cole @ Top::

    Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, joined by the court’s conservative wing, wrote that courts are in no position to second-guess the judgments of

    __
    Hey, Kennedy, what’s your job title again? You’re a judge? Doesn’t that, you know, put you in a position to do some actual judging, jackass?

    Jesus Fucking Christ. This is the guy who’s gonna decide the constitutionality of the ACA.

    .

  55. 55
    jl says:

    @pragmatism: CATO, is that the thinktank formerly known as that Charles Koch foundation?

    At least I think it is ‘Charles’. Maybe named after some other Koch.

  56. 56
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Dork: Tea Partiers don’t “detest government intrusion,” they hate the idea of the government taking their stuff and giving it away to Negroes and illegals. The idea that they have any coherent libertarian-ish views is a fantasy cooked up by blogosphere libertarians.

  57. 57
    Legalize says:

    Just remember, there really is no difference between Gore / Obama and Bush / Romney.

  58. 58

    @pragmatism: Their team is winning. There is no higher principle involved that that.

    Good-bye E pluribus unum, hello, “Just win, baby!”.

  59. 59
    Triassic Sands says:

    The Supreme Court on Monday ruled by a 5-to-4 vote that officials may strip-search people arrested for any offense…

    Where’s the limiting principle?

  60. 60
    fasteddie9318 says:

    Why would someone write that Kennedy was “joined by” the Court’s conservative wing when Kennedy is in the Court’s comservative wing?

  61. 61
    rageahol says:

    @porter: thats no longer the case quite so much. Myriad genetics patent was invalidated just recently along with the recent mayo clinic decision. Id provide links if i were at a real computer

  62. 62
    Mouse Tolliver says:

    @kerFuFFler:

    This also seems like it would work as a handy tool for suppressing demonstrators. Who is going to want to risk an arrest when the process can now be so much more demeaning?

    ^This! If you don’t get brain damage after being shot in the face by police at a protest, expect a state sanctioned rape if they arrest you.

  63. 63
    pragmatism says:

    @jl: The very same one. When this filters down to the mouthbreathing gopers and they start parroting “judicial activism is necessary”, I will have fun pointing out the flip flop and look forward to the various responses.

  64. 64
    pragmatism says:

    @Davis X. Machina: it is more the charlie sheen definition of “WINNING” than al davis.

  65. 65
    jl says:

    On other hand, some detainee could have broccoli stuffed up someplace somewhere. And we should all know by now that our current brand of reactionary has a very serious problem with broccoli.

    I think it started with GHW Bush. I wonder if it is a code word for something? He did run the CIA and knew about them code words.

    Ah, I long for the good old days of William F. Buckley, when it was spinach. We were able to make more progress back then.

  66. 66
    Nylund says:

    It seems to me, that, in general, the conservatives on the court preferred ranking is:

    1. Corporations
    2. Government
    3. Individuals

    Whomever is higher up on that list usually wins the case. I’m actually curious to see the ACA ruling just to see how it fits with this personal theory of mine.

  67. 67
    WaterGirl says:

    So they get to strip search and humiliate anybody who gets arrested at an Occupy protest, right?

    Edit: I seem that someone else had the same thought at #11.

  68. 68
    Keith G says:

    I’m Sure This is Based on Originalism and Strong Jurisprudence

    Actually it just may be originalistic in nature. The original document has some rather shitty aspects.

  69. 69
    Culture of Truth says:

    Although I would have come down the other way, I would not call this ‘clear cut’. In any case, I’m surprised, this court is not the kind to limit police officers’ discretion in matters such as this.

  70. 70
    Brachiator says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik:

    The problem isn’t in 5-4 decisions inherently. It’s the fact that, with this court, the decisions almost always end up in a contentious 5-4 split that adheres way too perfectly across an ideological split to be considered on principled grounds.

    Miranda was contentious (read some of the dissents), but principled.

    I miss Justice Souter, who was supposed to go along with the conservatives, but who turned out to be an excellent critic of Scalia.

  71. 71
    Carnacki says:

    “He was a passenger in his wife’s car when she was pulled over for speeding, and there was an invalid warrant for his arrest for unpaid fines. Even though he had proof in the vehicle the fines were paid, he was arrested for… NOTHING at all. Got it?”

    Also since we MUST trust the authorities, you know, the same authorities that found him guilty of being a black man in his wife’s BMW, Roberts and the conservative wing, including Thomas, would be fine with him not only being strip searched but held in solitary, water boarded and probably executed. Because it’s the conservative thing to do. And if you think that sounds like hyperbole, it’s already happened to innocent people.

  72. 72
    Tokyokie says:

    @JGabriel: It would be wrong to second-guess midlevel prison officials. A Democratic Congress? Not so much.

  73. 73
    The Tragically Flip says:

    @Brian:

    – the searching is only “acceptable” if a prisoner is to be put in general population. It’s more limited than “I have pulled you over, drop ‘em danny-boy.”

    That’s not what I’ve read. The Court only ruled on strip searching for those headed to Gen Pop, they did not forbid it for being held in a solitary cell. So it will take some Police force deciding to strip search everyone arrested and someone challenging that up to the Supremes to find out what the Con 5 think about it (Prediction: They’re fine with it). After all, they might hurt themselves, or a Police Officer/Guard. The same rationales that claim to justify searches for those entering Gen Pop mostly work on a holding cell.

    – Florence’s previous arrest and fine – the one he was incorrectly rearrested for – was for obstr. of justice and possession of deadly weapon.

    The case says he pled guilty to lesser charges. Are the police allowed to make threat determinations based on things you were arrested but not convicted for? Would that information have even been available to the arresting officer or the Jail officials (and should it be? If I get arrested for murder and I’m found not-guilty, are future police allowed to treat me as a violent offender based on that?)

    Anyway, unless someone is actually prepared to argue he drove around with his wife with a knife stuffed up his ass at all times just in case he was arrested on a years old warrant, I still call bullshit on this. “Reasonable suspicion” is not such a high bar to cross for requiring strip searches of people arrested for non-violent and non-drug related offences.

  74. 74
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @Brachiator:

    Miranda was contentious (read some of the dissents), but principled.

    But that was a previous court. Like I’m saying, THIS court tends to split TOO perfectly along ideological lines way too often.

  75. 75
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Keith G: Fair enough, but 18th century ideas of individual liberty tend to look unkindly at the idea that the state can pry into your personal property without a credible cause. They were constantly freaked out by things like customs officers and tax collectors knocking on your door in the dead of night.

  76. 76
    Silver says:

    @The Tragically Flip:

    Doesn’t this ruling essentially make strip searching people headed to Gen Pop mandatory? I’m having a hard time seeing how it won’t.

  77. 77
    JasonF says:

    I think there is a legitimate interest in the authorities making sure that someone in jail — particularly someone jailed with other prisoners — doesn’t have any weapons or other contraband, and I can also see the justification for looking for gang tattoos.

    That explains one of the searches Mr. Florence was subjected to.

    It does not explain why he was arrested in the first place.

    It does not explain why he was detained for seven days.

    It does not explain why he was strip searched a second time.

    Mr. Florence should, at this point, own a significant chunk of the assets of the County of Burlington. And every public servant involved in this case, from the officer who arrested Mr. Florence up to the county executive, should be unemployed and looking for work outside of law enforcement and government.

  78. 78
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Clime Acts:

    Sure. Burnspesq.

  79. 79
    JGabriel says:

    @Silver:

    Doesn’t this ruling essentially make strip searching people headed to Gen Pop mandatory?

    Yes.

    Welcome to the Land of the Free.

    .

  80. 80
    Brachiator says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik:

    But that was a previous court.

    We agree more than disagree. I noted, taking your point, that Miranda was contentious, but principled.

    Also, too, Kennedy is not consistently conservative. And as I also noted, Souter provided not only balance, but wisdom.

    Shorter: re-elect Obama, and more Democrats to the Senate, and get a better Supreme Court.

  81. 81
    Triassic Sands says:

    History lesson:

    The federal government is one of limited powers.

    The states are sources of unlimited tyranny.

    Now that’s originalism. Remember, take away the 14th Amendment and the Bill of Rights don’t apply to the states.

  82. 82
    brantl says:

    @Coupon the Movie: Sure, vote for the guy that couldn’t find his ass in the dark with both hands. Miracle unicorns for EVERYONE!!

  83. 83
    Culture of Truth says:

    Mandatory? I should think not.

  84. 84
    Silver says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Yes, mandatory in a practical application.

    Because if one jail does it as a matter of policy, and any sort of incident happens in another jail that isn’t doing it, the first lawsuit will ensure that every person going to Gen Pop in every jail gets strip searched.

  85. 85
    Culture of Truth says:

    The result is far from clear, taking into account the opinions written by Alito and Roberts, in addition to Kennedy.

  86. 86
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    Culture of Truth:

    Mandatory? I should think not.

    In theory, no. In practice, yes.

    Think about it for a moment. You run a prison. If someone gets a shiv into Gen Pop, and you didn’t strip search him, then you’re at fault.

    So, in practice, it’ll be pretty much mandatory to strip-search everyone, just to cover their asses against the hypothetical shiv threat.

    .

  87. 87
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Silver: And that wasn’t the case before this opinion?

  88. 88
    JWL says:

    “She’s a beautiful, voluptuous young woman. You want to see her naked. No problem. You’ve got a badge”.

    Law Enforcement Job Fair Poster 2012

  89. 89
    Yevgraf says:

    I’m thinking that the conservatard wing of the court shouted WOLVERINES!!! when they signed their names.

  90. 90
    Culture of Truth says:

    You run a prison. If someone gets a shiv into Gen Pop, and you didn’t strip search him, then you’re at fault.

    Indeed this was the thinking of the majority in this case.

    As I said, I don’t think this case was clear cut either way, but I don’t believe this opinion makes such searches much or less mandatory based on liability than they were before.

  91. 91

    This is just a further extension of the surveillance state I wrote about this morning. Now local law enforcement can track your cell phone without a warrant just … because they can. And AT&T and Verizon are profiting from it.

    What matters is the court has now given the authorities to humiliate any one they want no matter what

    Yes because CCA has the state prison contract and the state is obligated to keep it full, per their agreement. The shareholders must be obliged, you know.

  92. 92
    Brachiator says:

    @Southern Beale:

    This is just a further extension of the surveillance state I wrote about this morning. Now local law enforcement can track your cell phone without a warrant just … because they can. And AT&T and Verizon are profiting from it.

    Of course, techies are eagerly complicit in abetting surveillance technology. And even when they pull back, some are still blind to the possibility for abuse and excess. The very recent reaction to the “Girls Around Me App” admirably spells this out.

    This Creepy App Isn’t Just Stalking Women Without Their Knowledge, It’s A Wake-Up Call About Facebook Privacy [Update]
    __
    It’s when you push the radar button that Girls Around Me does what it says on the tin. I pressed the button for my friends. Immediately, Girls Around Me went into radar mode, and after just a few seconds, the map around us was filled with pictures of girls who were in the neighborhood. Since I was showing off the app on a Saturday night, there were dozens of girls out on the town in our local area….
    __
    Throughout this demonstration, my group of friends had been split pretty evenly along gender lines in their reactions. Across the board, the men either looked amused or (in the case of my beardo Diaspora friend) philosophically pleased with themselves about their existing opinions about social networking. The women, on the other hand, looked sick and horrified.

    The app has been pulled, but the technology underlying it is still the heart of social media applications that a lot of people love. And sadly, some techies just don’t seem to understand how potentially harmful some of this stuff can be.

    Also, too, we have the UK looking to go Full Spy Mode.

    UK plan to monitor all email, phone and and web use
    __
    The government is considering including a bill in the Queen’s Speech next month to extend the ability to monitor all phone calls, email and internet use in the UK. The Sunday Times reported that the idea is to allow GCHQ – the government’s listening agency – to be able to access this information in “real time” and “on demand”.

    What are the odds that someone will think that this is just peachy for the US as well?

  93. 93
    Don says:

    I guess I’m a bad ACLU member since this ruling – you can cavity-search folks being put into genpop jail – doesn’t get me wound up. I can see practical reasons for it, though it’s sort of puzzling why it would be perceived as necessary when arresting people who had no expectation of a police encounter. Do many folks keep an emergency shiv up their ass just on general principle?

    I’m wound up that we throw people in jail for so much pointless bullshit. Or that we have people encounter law enforcement at all for so much pointless BS. How is is sensible to arrest someone for most any non-violent street crime or traffic offense? Give em a citation and get on with life.

    Making the experience of being jailed slightly less miserable and degrading isn’t what I want; I want us to just fucking knock it off.

  94. 94
    Keith G says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    18th century ideas of individual liberty tend to look unkindly at the idea that the state can pry into your personal property without a credible cause.

    That said, I would rather be arrested and brought to trail under our current ideas than the ones existing 200 years ago. I will stipulate that I have a more intimate experience with the modern process than almost anyone else here.

  95. 95
    The Tragically Flip says:

    @Don:

    Making the experience of being jailed slightly less miserable and degrading isn’t what I want; I want us to just fucking knock it off.

    Walking, gum, etc.

  96. 96
    Svensker says:

    @Brachiator:

    What are the odds that someone will think that this is just peachy for the US as well?

    That horse done left the barn already http://www.wired.com/threatlev.....nter/all/1

  97. 97
    David in NY says:

    @porter:

    porter Says:

    Maybe I am missing something but this is Wrong Again Cole we are talking about there.

    It’s my understanding that this ruling was against a challenge to existing law. Not a newly created law.

    In the Second Circuit (NY, VT, CT), it’s long been the law that strip searches for minor crimes (traffic violations, misdemeanors) were not permissible. So maybe you are missing something.

  98. 98
    porter says:

    @rageahol: A farmer was just charged a few weeks ago. Maybe there are different aspects of the law. What the current law states is that the onus is on the farmer to prove they are not using monsanto seeds. But what happens is if nearby farmers are using the monsanto soybeans the wind carries the pollon or however it works with soybeans so nearby farms get some monsanto soybeans.

    Monsanto is abusing this loophole. Their teams of lawyers with infinite resources basically just keep the pressure on the farmer until he runs out of money to fight them in court.

  99. 99
    David in NY says:

    @Brachiator: Will somebody please explain the thrill people get in posting a Facebook message, “________ ______ is eating at Sloppy Joe’s!” The app doesn’t work without it.

  100. 100
    David in NY says:

    just checking to see why all my incisive comments posts went to moderation?

    Edit: Because I misspelled my e-mail address????

  101. 101
    Mike says:

    Ironically, this helps the ACA. Kennedy is certainly not concerned about individual liberties vs. the state here.

  102. 102
    Brachiator says:

    @David in NY:

    Will somebody please explain the thrill people get in posting a Facebook message, “________ __ is eating at Sloppy Joe’s!” The app doesn’t work without it.

    I’s a feature, not a bug?

  103. 103
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    Am I the only one who thinks this is okay as long as its restricted to those being put in Gen-Pop? Prison guards can’t carry weapons, meaning any sort of weapon brought in can become real trouble, real fast.

    I’m all for rolling back the police state, but we should do it by decreasing the number of people they lock up for stupid reasons.

  104. 104
    Brachiator says:

    @FormerSwingVoter:

    Am I the only one who thinks this is okay as long as its restricted to those being put in Gen-Pop?

    Yes.

    From the NY Times report:

    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.

    And consider some of the dangerous people subjected to strip searches:

    A nun was strip-searched, he wrote, after an arrest for trespassing during an antiwar demonstration. So were victims of sexual assaults and women who were menstruating.

    The procedure lends itself to abuse.

  105. 105

    @Coupon the Movie:

    The real story here is that Gore and Bush would have been the same president and really, either one of those guys would have nominated Roberts and Alito.

    Can we please not turn this into fucking Nader bashing? Roberts and Alito were nominated in Bush’s second term. He appointed no Justices at all during his first and it is absurd to think that any of the conservative Justices would have stepped down during Gore’s first term had he become President instead. If you really want to play “left wing circular firing squad,” go after Kerry and his inept campaign managers who allowed the Deserting Coward to steal a second term.

  106. 106

    @Brachiator:

    Shorter: re-elect Obama, and more Democrats to the Senate, and get a better Supreme Court.

    While I will work towards the first two, the third is not likely to happen any time soon. I anticipate that whoever wins will appoint the successor to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, though she may hold out if a Republican wins. I think it unlikely that any of the Conservative five will step down voluntarily if Obama wins, although I will, of course, pray for strokes and heart attacks.

  107. 107
    Brachiator says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    I think it unlikely that any of the Conservative five will step down voluntarily if Obama wins, although I will, of course, pray for strokes and heart attacks.

    Lots of stuff can happen. The long game is to get a solid majority in the Senate, so that Obama can get lower level judicial appointments through with lessobstructionism. This creates potential Supreme Court nominees, even if no Republican steps down during Obama’s second term.

    The longer game is to get another Democrat in after Obama in 2016, when more nominations to the top court might be in play.

  108. 108
    Jado says:

    @JGabriel:

    Whoa whoa whoa…

    Scalia doesn’t want to read the law cause it’s too long. I think that expecting them to do their job is going a bit far – they are there to decide things, not do things like “read legislation” or “second-guess officers” or “practice jurisprudence”

    That one’s my favorite word – it has “prudence” right there in the word. The irony gets thick around these here parts this time of year…

  109. 109
    EIGRP says:

    @celticdragonchick: If that ever happens to me I hope I have enough wits about me to say “You’re shitting me.”

    Eric

  110. 110
    Rogers says:

    This is of a piece with much conserv/glibertarian modes of argumentation.The case as they present it COULD just conceivably pass muster in some slightly similar alternative universe inhabited by some near analogue of Homo Sapiens,logic,etc. Maybe.It’s really all about the passive aggressive, “well you can’t PROVE it’s wrong”, so IN YOUR FACE!!!

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