Apr 03

Squat and cough while we “strip” you of your rights

What the fuck is going on with the Supreme Court? I have never been one to call  it “legislating from the bench” but this latest split decision seems to be nothing more than that.

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. (emphasis mine)

Yep, that is conservatives judges telling us to smile and take it while they strip us of our fourth amendment rights. They seemed to ignore all the evidence showing that the efficacy of strip searching is less than desirable:

Justice Breyer wrote that there was very little empirical support for the idea that strip-searches detect contraband that would not have been found had jail officials used less intrusive means, particularly if strip-searches were allowed when officials had a reasonable suspicion that they would find something.

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.

Then again, we can’t expect justices to be all that empirical. How about humane? Ten states prior to this decision already had statutes prohibiting strip searched without reasonable suspicion of contraband (States more moral than our current SC I might add). It is against federal policies as well as banned by international human rights treaties. So no, the Supreme Court of the United States is not humane (at least the five conservative justices are not).

It seems that they even knew how bad the precedent they were setting was:

In a concurrence, 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.’ ”

How about the present? This is embarrassing right now.


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