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.