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The Strip Search Ruling

The Supreme Court upholds invasive strip searches even for those charged with the most minor crimes—including unpaid traffic fines. We’ll explore.

Photo illustration. (Alex Kingsbury/WBUR)

Photo illustration. (Alex Kingsbury/WBUR)

Americans have been up in arms about TSA pat-downs at airport security.  Heaven help you if go to jail.

The Supreme Court this week ruled that if you end up taken in for even the most minor of offence – failure to use a turn signal, violating a leash law, riding a bicycle without an audible bell – you can be required, without any reasonable suspicion, to submit to a full strip search.  And that’s no joke.

Strip.  Squat.  Spread.  Cough.  Lift.  Show everything.  Up close.  No recourse.  This is now the dignity guaranteed American citizens.

This hour, On Point: the Supreme Court and strip search.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Orin Kerr, a professor at the George Washington University School of Law.

Erik Luna, professor of Law and Law Alumni Faculty Fellow at Washington and Lee University.

Susan Chana Lask, civil rights attorney for petitioner Albert Florence.

From Tom’s Reading List

You can find the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Florence v. County of Burlington, No. 10-945 here.

The New Yorker “What does the Supreme Court know about naked bodies? What is more important, according to a five-four decision Monday, is what the Justices think a law-enforcement officer might learn from strip-searching anyone who has been taken into their custody for any reason at all.”

The Los Angeles Times “By a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that people arrested over traffic and other minor offenses can be strip-searched even if there is no reasonable suspicion that they are concealing weapons or contraband. But the court’s decision goes too far. Jailers have a responsibility to make sure that their facilities are secure, but they can do so without the blanket authority the court has given them.”

Slate “The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that officials can strip-search suspects for any arrest, however minor the offense, before admitting them to jail—even if there’s no reasonable suspicion that the individual has contraband. What’s the proper way to conduct a strip-search?”

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GAFU3P7A2KFEBSS3VKSZ32KIYM Jerry

    This is the ‘bad-call’ in the game, to where the refs (court officials) will have to make good on a later play…i.e.; any reform regarding the Zimmerman case.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       The Zimmerman case?  So you were on the scene and know what happened?  What reforms would you suggest?

      • Mike

        Why is a profile picture of someone reaching for a gun permitted on On Point’s website. I find it inappropriate, offensive, and intimidating on a site where people routinely engage in spirited differences of opinion. Surely there are rules regarding threatening speech on this forum. Are there also not rules regarding threatening imagery?

        • Oy

          Really?  It’s a picture.  Good grief, Charlie Brown.

          • Steve

            Yeah, really. It’s a picture that is meant to intimidate, and it has no place on such a forum. Good grief, Charlie Brown. 

          • Hidan

             He’s supposedly a Professor/teacher that teaches predominantly minorities. A poster child of what’s wrong with teachers today.  Most of his comments are simpleminded with an occasional decent comment.

        • Hidan

           The pic with the gun is most likely to show he’s a “Real American” and not to be messed with.

          • Modavations

            So how many died?Do you consider women to be Chattel

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          First Amendment rights are sacred, but Second Amendment rights don’t exist–that’s your view?

      • Anonymous

        Start with those Stand Your Ground laws that are in 26 states. 
        I have to ask, are you dressed up like a 19th century cowboy for a reason?
        And yeah what’s with the gun?

        • Anonymous

           Coke and Pepsi have just announced that they are no long funding ALEC, the corporate-funded rightwing organization that invented Stand Your Ground and persuaded ($$$!) state legislators to pass it in 26 states. 

          The worm is turning…

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           Stand your ground laws merely say that I don’t have to run away if someone is trying to kill me.  That law likely doesn’t apply in the Zimmerman case.

          • Anonymous

            I’m not talking about the Zimmerman case. It’s those idiotic laws.
            If someone is trying to kill you is a good reason to run, unless it’s in your home, in which case there are already laws that protect you from using deadly force in this instance.

            What if they are faster at the draw than you? What if you miss and you are on a semi crowded street and you hit an innocent bystander?
            Or maybe the bullet goes stray and hits someone in there house or apartment.

            The law is absurd, period.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             A relative of mine was recently beaten nearly to death by four thugs.  He tried to run.  Now he has multiple broken bones and may never see out of one eye again.  He was in a state that rarely issues licenses to carry a handgun.

            That situation is absurd.  Recognizing the fundamental right to defend yourself wherever you have the right to be is rational.

          • Anonymous

            Read article about this in Tampa Bay Times, this law is being interpreted as saying that you can shoot , or knife, anyone if you “feel” threatened. All you have to do is say it is so. It is not being interpreted as a reasonable person would feel threatened. 

  • MICHIGANJF

    THE MOST INSIDIOUS ASPECT OF THIS RULING is that it will intimidate the average citizen from excersizing their First Amendment Right to Freedom of Assembly, as many will fear the possibility of a humiliating strip search.

    THIS FACT ALONE SHOULD HAVE RESULTED IN UNWARRANTED MISDEMEANOR STRIP SEARCHES BEING RULED UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

    Police forces all over America have proven many times they will utilize any and every intimidation tactic made available to them, so count on protesters being subjected to unreasonable strip searches in the immediate future, simply as a sadistic scare tactic.

    THE REPUBLICAN ROBERTS COURT IS OUT OF CONTROL!!!!!!

    WAKE UP PEOPLE AND SAVE AMERICA FROM THE REPUBLICAN ONSLAUGHT!!

  • U.S. Vet.

    Americans should be much more fearful of the N.D.A.A. bill that President Obama signed late last year, which gives President Obama the right to:
     
    -incarcerate any American indefinitely, without being charged with a crime, without right to legal counsel, without right to a speedy trial.

    How many many full episodes of On Point have been dedicated to President Obama’s signing of the N.D.A.A.?

    Zero.

    How many full episodes of On Point have been dedicated to President Obama’s Operation ‘Fast and Furious’ which resulted in three U.S. Border Patrol agents being murdered?

    Zero.

    Once again On Point has shown it’s clear bias in favor of the Obama Administration by refusing to cover issues which would clearly expose the Obama Administration in a negative light.

    • Anonymous

      A simple search of On Point’s archives shows entire episodes devoted to “The Case for Targeted Killing” on 3/12/12, and “The NSA’s Secret Spy Hub” on 3/21/12. A program dealt with Operation Fast and Furious on 11/9/11.

      What became known as the “ATF Gunwalking Scandal” began in 2006 under the Bush administration and was ended in 2011 under the Obama administration.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATF_gunwalking_scandal 

      • Anonymous

        Some people are more interested in their ideology than in the truth and facts. It’s easy to be like the U.S.Vet.  What is funny to me is how people on the right cherry pick what they want from the Constitution for their arguments and on other matters they stomp all over it.

        This ruling 5 to 4 ruling by all the right wing justices seems to step all over the 4th amendment.

        I don’t know about anyone else but when a Supreme Court Justice says things like this: Kennedy said that “people detained for minor offenses can turn out to be the most devious and dangerous criminals.”  Or they could not, is that not why we have the protection of Fourth Amendment. It is our right against illegal search and seizure. Strip searches for minor offenses, which is what this case was about, is a clear violation if it.

        Now sit back and watch the right wing folks on the forum defend this ruling while defending the ACA as unconstitutional.
         

        • Modavations

          But you have no problem telling us what lt.Bulb to use,what sugar to buy,what the kids can have in their lunch pails

          • Anonymous

            Do you have any cites for instances of the government telling you “what sugar to buy,what the kids can have in their lunch pails”?

            As for the lightbulbs:

            “There are two problems with this statement. The light bulbs aren’t banned, and the phase out was actually a Republican idea that was signed into law by George W. Bush in 2007.”
            http://www.politicususa.com/bush-light-bulb-ban/ 

          • Modavations

            I’m libertarian and the Lunch Pail case and Sugar case were from NPR

          • Ray in VT

            Provide some links, then.  If you want to make an argument, then back it up.

          • Anonymous

            a stupid person in a school lunch room is not an argument against everyone being able to access health care.  Actually there is a school in Little Rock Ark that won’t allow fruit in children’s lunches. Now that is stupid.

          • Anonymous

            I’m going down that rabbit hole.
            You keep on posting gibberish and diatribes, it suits you.

      • Michiganjf

        Ahhh Newton, you just robbed USVET and every other conservative troll of their justification for playing the victim and whining about all that “liberal” media “out there.”

        Nice!

      • Modavations

        When you demand Big Govt., you also get Big Brother

        • Gretchenmo

          exactly

        • Anonymous

          Usually at the hands of those who claim to be for “small government”

  • Yar

    “Inmates commit more than 10,000 assaults on correctional staff every year and many more among themselves.”
    “Jails are often crowded, unsanitary, and dangerous places.”
    These two quotes are from the Supreme Court’s Opinion in this case and are stated as facts.
     
    Never mind the humiliation involved in a strip search, isn’t it a violation of the constitution to hold a person in a crowded, unsanitary and dangerous place?
    Should I get a tattoo from every gang, just to make sure I am put in an isolation cell in case I am arrested for forgetting to buckle my seat-belt?  
    I will show the guards my junk, I don’t want to be raped!  It is a real possibility in jail, guards can look the other way, or they can put an individual in a cell with a person who is known to be dangerous.
    A question I have been asked when donating blood is: Have you ever been in jail?
    It is assumed that you may be a victim of sexual violence while in prison. 
    How do we make jail safe for everyone?  Maybe, the first step is to search everyone. Guards, lawyers, medical personal, judges, treat everyone the same then there is no constitutional question.   Guards may have incentive to smuggle contraband to trade for sex, money or information.  Searching only detainees doesn’t solve the safety issue.  Does an inmate have the right to be relocated from a cell infested with lice?  What rights exist on the side of the person being arrested?  How will jails make sure employees who preform these searches do so in a ‘respectful’ manner?  
    From Justice Breyer’s dissent:  ”Even when carried out in a respectful manner, and even absent any physical touching, see ante at 4–5, 19, such searches are inherently harmful, humiliating, and degrading.”
    What about when a search is done specifically to humiliate or degrade?  What recourse does a person being arrested have?  How does the court does address this issue?  How would an inmate prove a search was done in a disrespectful manner?  Should the inmate have the right to record a search? These questions are particularly important in light of the On Point show earlier this week on the New era of Jim Crow.Continued from dissent:”And the harm to privacy interests would seem particularly acute where the person searched may well have no expectation of being subjectto such a search, say, because she had simply received atraffic ticket for failing to buckle a seatbelt, because hehad not previously paid a civil fine, or because she hadbeen arrested for a minor trespass.”

    The court has split hairs on the gnat while swallowing a camel.
    The prison industry has misused its power at times.  No person arrested should be put in a cell with an unknown prison population, or with a known dangerous person. The court has failed to answer the issue of individual safety while in custody with this opinion, even though the opinion claims to address the issue of safety for jails.  The fatal flaw in the opinion is separating inmate safety from jail operational safety.  The court acknowledges that jails are unsafe.

    It doesn’t instill much confidence from the court on healthcare.  I fear this court is leading us toward revolution.

    • Anonymous

      Just to put the assault numbers in perspective: at the end of 2010 there were 2.2668 million people incarcerated in federal and state prisons; therefore if different individuals were involved in each assault, approximately 1 prisoner in 100 were involved in an assault each year, but some prisoners are undoubtedly involved in more than one assault, so less than 1 prisoner in 100 is a danger for assaults. For this all the other 99 have to undergo these strip searches. What about visitors?

      • Yar

        Tom Goldstein, who argued this case before the court was on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and said the right wing of the court saw this case different than TSA searches because the justices go to airports but they don’t get arrested. http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-april-3-2012/exclusive—tom-goldstein-extended-interview-pt–2
        When you are custody, you are at the mercy of those who hold you. I would like to know if the jails with mandatory strip search rule have
        higher incidences of contraband. What if the guards have the policy simply to eliminate the competition on contraband? The conservative court may be supporting crony capitalism. A regulated market, where the guards have eliminated possible competition in contraband by strip searching all at intake. If there is a statistical difference in contraband at jails that strip search everyone during intake, it may be possible to discern motives for the search.
        I keep praying for the conversion of Chief Justice Roberts, he is like Saul before his conversion on the road to Damascus.

  • Jochebed

    Couple questions for your speakers and listeners/readers.  1.  How will this ruling affect minors?  Can 14 year old girls arrested for marijuana possession now be strip searched?  2.  Where exactly IS the line where the government’s power/oversight ends and my right to my body starts?  We have virtual strip searches in our airports and now actual strip searches for minor legal infractions.  Where is the line?

    Last night I listened to the June 2011 show on video taping police.  So now in IL and MA (and many other states due to police ignorance or malice), video a police officer in attempt to provide accountability…you’ll get yourself arrested and strip searched. 

    Land of the free my foot.

  • SteveV

    Not just in this case, but throughout our society “Stupid has become the new
    normal”. In generations past we expected stupid statements and actions from
    ignorant people. Now were seeing them from those who should know better. In the
    past we (average) citizens looked up to and respected those in authority,
    expecting from them a higher level of education and maturity. What we see today
    are people, while well “educated”, are speaking and acting in ways that
    would have embarrassed previous generations. And we realize this situation is so
    pervasive there are no alternatives. No matter who we elect the results are the
    same. This doesn’t bode well for our future.

    • Modavations

      Rarely have I read such gooble de gook

      • Hidan

        Most likely cause you don’t read your own stuff.

        • Modavations

          How many died in Tehran while the Pres. voted Present

          • Ray in VT

            During the Iranian uprising the President wasn’t voting anyway on anything.  The President doesn’t vote.

          • Modavations

            yap yap

          • Ray in VT

            Buzz buzz.  Get those batteries checked.

      • SteveV

        Thank you, in your response, for helping me make my point. It’s appreciated.

        • Modavations

          What was the point?

      • Anonymous

        You contribute enough of it.

    • Hidan

       The run down of our current batch officials and law enforcement,

      1. break the law and violate it’s citizens rights
      2. pretend outraged and ignorance when found
      3. Intimidate ones that may record such actions
      4. Deny,Deny and Deny that such violations occurred
      5. Once proven such occurred claimed such person was trying to keep____ safe.
      6. Claim no responsibility for the official or government bodies actions and blame such was an rouge case/action. Even when it’s found that the government body was well aware of such action

      This method can be found in the example/s

      Example those Cops in New Orleans was were just now sentences for what they did in katrina, the reported stated that it was an systematic corruption in the police department and far more than 6 people broke the law but many still work for that department even when it’s known that they broke the law as well.

      Another is police department using quota’s and writing memo’s on quota than doing the step 1-6 (happen in Ma recently)

      • Modavations

        So how many died in Tehran when Obama disregarded the pleas for help?.What was the name of the lady who got shot in the chest?.Do you consider women as chattel?

        • Ray in VT

          I thought that you were trying to be civil?  Why not address the man’s points, or do you approve of heavy handed police tactics just so long as they’re used against people you don’t like?

          • Modavations

            Yap Yap

          • Ray in VT

            Buzz buzz.

          • Modavations

            As a hippy,from the days when hippys were hippys,I hate Pigs

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t really have anything against cops.  I’ve been hassled once or twice, but my interactions with them have largely been positive.

          • Modavations

            yap yap

          • John in Amherst

             Mod is making a case that conservatives are fond of employing non-sequitir diversions, personal ridicule and sweeping if erroneous claims in the cause of winning arguments.  A lack logic, facts & civility is irrelevant.  Brings back memories of middle school…. and FOX News

        • Hidan

          Google it hommie,if you don’t know the name obviously your uniformed.

          I’m guessing alot less than  the people who are going to die from the sanctions the U.S. placed on Iran.

          A women gets shot so the answer is to bomb Iran killing thousands. What great logic you have there moda-troll

          • Modavations

            Mr President help us…..I vote Present.But Pres.Obama we’re being gunned down.I’ll form a commitee

        • Brett

          Hey, good morning, Mo-D! How’s it going? I trust your absence brought you much good fortune. …Sort of off topic, but I was kind of hoping something like a professional wrestling maneuver would present itself and transform where your character, changing it over and becoming this benevolent, quintessential being of light and goodness. Instead of booing, the masses would cheer and raise a glass, as it were…oh well, I hope you are wearing a cape and one of those Mexican wrestling masks when you write your posts, at least! ;-)

          • Modavations

            I have a Santos Mask and yes I was down in Mexico abusing miners and plundering their mineral wealth

          • Modavations

            My purpose is not to be friends with the left,it’s to bury them.By the way at least 50% of my mates are commies.At least 50%

          • Modavations

            Be truthful now Bro.B…..Weren’t you bored to tears during my 10 days of plundering the wilds of Mexico.Tell the truth,aren’t things more exciting when I’m around?Bro.B I have a feeling you’d love Mexico

          • Ray in VT

            The discussions here were so much better without you.  The rate of substantive comments was much higher.  I was hoping that you’d found a permanent diversion.

  • Hidan

    We have this the Strip Search Ruling  and than in Ma we have politicians trying to take away Miranda rights.

    Every notice how more and more rights are being violated by reasoning that it’s for our safety?

    Also notice that the media tends to only cares about rape in prison when it’s done in another country?

  • Saighead

    So, I guess the presumption of innocence has become a quaint anachronism in a culture where the palatibility broccoli is a valid bullet point in an argument over our crippling health care costs.  Basically, these guys have just never gotten over some childhood dinner trauma, then.
    What a clutch of casual thugs on the right end of the bench.  It’s becoming difficult to extend respect for them.

    • Anonymous

      They deserve contempt, in my view.
      The 4th Amendment is pretty clear, and this case was all about that. 

      • Modavations

        Come on rabid one,he’s a vile little man.Let it rip.

    • Modavations

      Spare us.Half you guys are ready to hang Zimmerman.Screw the trial,we all know he’s guilty

      • John in Amherst

        Spare US?  Spare you, maybe.  Once again, you veer toward snide personal attack, unsubstantiated claims and a change in subject in an attempt to distract from the thread at hand.  Perhaps a cogent explanation of your view on why anyone arrested for any level of offense under all circumstances should be subjected to the state-sanctioned sexual harassment of a strip search would be more germane here.  No telling what a nun at a peaceful protest or dog walker whose pet is off-leash might have concealed in a body cavity, eh?

      • Saighead

         I’ve not heard anybody suggest hanging Zimmerman-under the circumstances, that’s an unfortunate parallel to draw-I’m certainly willing, eager for him to have his day in court before his peers.  He has to be arrested and arraigned first, though! 

  • Anonymous

    This is the ruling that comes out from a clear case of police misconduct and a violation of the 4th Amendment:

    The plaintiff in the strip-searches complaint, Bordentown resident Albert Florence, was no suspected terrorist. He was a passenger in a car being driven by his wife in March 2005 when a New Jersey state trooper pulled them over on Route 295 in southern Burlington County.

    The trooper looked up Florence on his computer and found an
    outstanding warrant for an unpaid traffic fine. Florence had paid that fine two years prior, and produced a document proving it, but nonetheless he was taken to the Burlington County jail, where corrections officers strip-searched him.

    Florence was then transported to the Essex County jail, where guards once again made him strip, squat, cough, and move his genitals. Florence spent six days in jail before the police realized the clerical error.

    http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/inquirer/146170285.html

    A clerical error. This can happen to anyone, and that means anyone. The right wing justices have clearly stepped over the line, once again.

  • Anonymous

    Linda Greenhouse, the NYT writer with considerable — well, really huge — knowledge and understanding of the Supreme Court and current justices, suggests in a column that There’s More To This Than Meets The Eye… much more.

    ” “I don’t know what the back story is,” Greenhouse writes, “but I’ve
    parsed enough Supreme Court opinions over the years to know that there
    is one. What the external evidence suggests is an internal struggle.
    Argued back in October, the Florence case was the oldest argued case on
    the court’s docket by the time the decision came down on Monday. (By
    way of contrast, 5 of the 11 cases argued in January have already been
    decided, some of them weeks ago.) Surely something was going on during
    these last six months.”

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/04/embarrass-the-future/?hp

    Bernard Harcourt (Chicago Law), writing in the blog “Balkinization” has this to say:

    “The Court embraced today a ‘police-state logic.’ It is a logic that
    seeks to eliminate, to absolutely eradicate and purge any and all
    security risks, no matter how small they might be. It demands total
    suppression and erasure of risk. The police-state logic is about
    identifying, describing, cataloguing any and all possible security
    risks, no matter how trivial, and then effectively giving the state
    security apparatus free rein to adopt the most penetrating strategy to
    obliterate that risk. Justice Kennedy’s opinion reads precisely in this
    vein, and reflects this logic. …

    “…It’s alarming that the Supreme Court has veered toward this new
    police-state logic. Notice, of course, the difference—or paradox—with
    last week’s Supreme Court arguments about economic liberty and the
    health care mandate. The American ideal of a hands-off government seems
    to apply only in the context of economic liberty.

    “I’ve referred to this recently as the American paradox of laissez-faire and mass incarceration. Today’s decision reinforces and confirms this great American paradox.”

    http://balkin.blogspot.com/2012/04/police-state-logic.html

  • Monica Roland, Lockport, NY

    I’m protesting this week’s Supreme Court ruling on strip searches for ANY offense, however minor. I personally know someone in Buffalo who went through a strip search and overnight stay in jail because of a parking fine THAT WAS ALREADY PAID. (Similar to the case before the high court.) Bad bookkeeping by a municipality led to this horrible nightmare during a routine traffic stop! Please, it’s bad enough giving up our Fourth Amendment rights to illegal searches at the airport. Now you can have your body cavities plundered if you’ve had a traffic ticket and the city’s computers haven’t been updated?I know, I know. Law enforcers need all the protection they can get. I could never do their job. But . . . UGH.

  • Julia

    How can conservative Justices who are supposedly concerned with civil liberties rule this way??? What happened to limited, small Government??

    • John in Amherst

      Limited, small government is a concept conservatives only apply to corporate interests?

    • Scott B

       They don’t consider criminals as having civil rights, no matter what the “crime”, like no curbing your dog.

      • John in Amherst

         or whether someone is even convicted of a crime.  Punishment now begins with arrest.

  • Gretchenmo

    Anthony Kennedy is hardly a right-winger.  I’m also surprised that left-wing whiners would be so cavalier with public employee union member safety.  Where’s your heart?  You make me sick.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I thought I heard a snip from the Supreme Court, they make a distinction between people who are awaiting arraignment and dangerousness hearings and so on, versus people who are going into the convicted jail or prison, state or federal population.   That’s an important distinction.  I assume prisoners always are trying to run contraband businesses on the sly. 
        Say I’m planning/hoping to get arrested protesting at the local nuclear plant which is poorly run and dangerous for millions of people downstream, and I’m an addict; can I manage to smuggle enough to last me till I get released the next day?  I can think of all sorts of things various citizens might want to supply themselves with but not want officialdom to possibly confiscate without a lot of medical screening.  Isn’t that what body cavities are for?  
       I thought I heard that sheriffs should have the power to search a person or a person’s person within their discretion.  I think there is such a thing as abuse of power, and even locally, people around here speak up, write to the newspaper, maybe find a lawyer to help them sue, and if it’s a valid complaint, the community points out abuse of power, and then the sheriff soon has less discretion.  Something like that.

  • Anonymous

    The only rights this Court will protect are individual rights to guns and corporations’ freedom of speech. 

    • TFRX

      Have you seen this JPG illustrating the Roberts Court? (I clipped it off the internet–source forgotten.)

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    How often do people get hauled into jail for failing to have a bell on a bicycle or for failing to use a turn signal?  The latter is a civil offense, and I’ve never lived anywhere that had a law about bicycles like that–at least not one that was ever enforced.

    • John in Amherst

       How often do people get hauled into jail for any number of bogus charges stemming from clerical errors, like non-payment of traffic fines, and then held for a week while it gets sorted out?  How often do people get jailed for simply exercising their rights of assembly and free speech, as in OWS arrests?  How reasonable is it to assume that everyone who is arrested has a shiv or vial of narcotics stuffed up their butt?  This ruling does little but invite state-sponsored sexual harassment and violation.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         Good questions–too often, it seems.

    • Black in the USA

       I am happy to hear that there such is a place in America.  In my America -walking while Black  is the only reason needed to detain, humiliate, or even kill me.    My (black) husband and I were stopped by a state police officer on the highway out of Denver.  It was midnight, no one around.  The way the cop toyed with us -I feared that we would be shot dead.  Fortunately he let us go.

      We were newly minted PhDs on our way from California to Boston. 

      I believe that the police were playing with him–deliberately keeping him (an upstanding successful Black man) for a week –even when they KNEW he was innocent. 

      • Monica Roland, Lockport, NY

        So true, sorrowfully.  I have several black friends who have been stopped over and over again for the sole “offense” of driving nice cars.  Ugh.

    • Scott B

       It’s not that they have, but it’s that they could and have no recourse. 

      There are states and cities that have little laws, like lack of bike bells or reflectors. They’re usually not enforced, and largely forgotten, but if some cop want to get picky because he’s taken a dislike to you for whatever reason, then you could get treated like you’re the Unibomber.  Where I am the cops have small flash cards with a checklist of the smallest ticky-tack laws to nail someone with.  There are many people that leave the house for a quick walk or errand with no ID and a couple bucks in their pocket. In many places they could get nailed for vagrancy laws for not having $20 on them, not having proof of a job, failure to provide ID, and so on.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         And people wonder why I want limited government.

  • John in Amherst

    Perhaps On Point can follow up this thread with a show on impeaching sitting justices of the Supreme Court…..

    • Scott B

       Judges need to have term limits, especially since they’re not elected.  To some degree I feel it’s a way for a President to keep his thumb on the people long after he’s out of office.

      12 or 16 years, perhaps. That’s about a generation.  I don’t want people who’s values are based on the values that were prevalent decades ago to set modern precedent,  you end up with judges that are much like Sen. Ted Stevens talking about the internet being “tubes”, or the shame that was the Dred Scott case. 

  • Sara Giannoni

    Any response from local officials, governors, state reps, mayors?  I would like to see response from the National Governors Association, US Council of Mayors, etc.  

  • Ellen Dibble

    Once I was going to the supermarket by bicycle and saw a guy with a large butcher knife by the bike racks.  I forget exactly why, but I was concerned enough to tell the store security.  Store security went out and got threatened by the knife.  On the way home, passing the police station, I stopped to ask if anything has come of that, and an officer came out, pulling off the rubber gloves, and said that the individual was in custody, after threatening an officer with a rubber glove — I mean, with a knife.  It seems the search itself might have been punishment enough.  They can skip the rest of the proceedings.

  • Chuck

    I am traveling for work to Singapore next week, and my friends always ask me about how repressive it is. Well, it’s a controlled country, that is true, but there are also lots of myths Americans believe about the place. Nevertheless, strip searching us for minor arrests in the US is just as bad as anything Singaporans deal with. So maybe my friends should reconsider how fast the so-called Republican interest in enhancing freedoms is “working out for us.”

    • Anonymous

      …and they have better schools.

  • Ren Knopf

    I wonder what “Justice” Kennedy would say after being pulled in for a tail light infraction. This opinion is more dangerous than any weapon one might be carrying.

    • TFRX

      My guess: Kennedy would say “Don’t you know who I am?”

      For a certain strata of society, it works every time.

      Hell, the justices likely have special license plates which any traffic cop would recognize as belonging to a member of the court. Which cop wants that kind of headache to write a fixit ticket?

    • Anonymous

      If I had the resources, I would form the Gander Foundation (as in what’s good for goose is good for gander) dedicated to making every person who has exercised their authority to implement things such as  this be, or have their family members be, subjected to what they have sanctioned as acceptable. 

      Acceptable levels of arsenic or lead in children’s food?  Your kids will be so exposed. 

      Have to prove citizenship upon being stopped for speeding?  You will be arrested when unable to show such proof, and jailed.  Then strip searched.

  • Mary

    Well over a decade ago, a female friend of mine was arrested for hosting a loud party at her Boston home.  I remember being shocked to hear she that following her arrest, she had been strip-searched by Boston police.  She was a white, college-grad, professional woman in her twenties and was only arrested, charged and fined for disturbing the peace – not that these demographics exempt one from arrest – but a strip-search?  The situation hardly screamed probably cause….

  • Sara Giannoni

    Good thing he wasn’t wearing a hoodie!

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    What we see here is an illustration of a government out of control.

  • armidalm

    We all are becoming African-American inner-city dwellers in the fascist state of tomorrow.

  • Joe in Philly

    Strip searching the innocent; drones overhead; eyes in the sky. Wake up America! We have given away our constitutional freedoms and living in a nation of fear, which abrogates freedom for a sense of false security. The Supreme Court has become the tools of fascism! George Orwell is smiling!

  • Modavations

    Lefties are a curious species.During the Trayvon story you were all ready to lynch Zimmerman,now you fret and wring your hands about police searches in penitentiary.Early shift for me kids.Happy Easter and Pass Over

    • Lost Cat 00

      Who wanted to lynch Zimmerman? The request is for his arrest. However, given the present circumstances, it seems that soon people may be disappering with the emerging American Gulag.

    • John in Amherst

       Arresting Zimmerman would have led to the thorough investigation of a murder.  You want to ignore that, while doing strip and body-cavity searches of minor offenders?   

    • Anonymous

      Your inability to process other people’s comments and what are universally accepted as facts is astounding, and perhaps some sort of unusual neurological deficit.  Maybe Oliver Sacks could include you as a case study his next book.

  • Potter

    This is about race, maybe primarily. Then let’s talk about freedom and liberty– as in fighting over there so we can have it here.

    Indeed incredible and shocking.

    • potter

      and by the way I do not have any confidence in the discretion of law enforcement officers.

  • Anna

    Can Congress amend this?  If so, they must act immediately or women and, obviously, minorities, will have to walk on eggshells from this point forward.  I can see rampant charges of sexual assault popping up everywhere.     

  • Anonymous

    It is patently obvious to anyone with an I.Q. larger than their shoe size and even a passing familiarity with the Constitution of the United States and its history that the five “justices” who handed down this grotesque decision are not merely ideologues, but either perverts, sadists or simply demented — none of which are mutually exclusive.Despite how profoundly disappointing the successor to George W. Bush has been, no matter who becomes Obama’s opponent, he will be infinitely worse — and will appoint, at the very least, one member of the SCOTUS during his four-year term (not to mention all the judgeships of the inferior federal courts).Which is why it is imperative that every citizen eligible to vote makes every effort TO vote — despite the breathtaking actions taken by the Theo-fascist “Right” to effectively disenfranchise as many as possible who are unlikely to support them.

  • Tom

    Yet another reminder of the totalitarian institutional “mission creep” that our increasingly militarized society is going through at every level. Having lived in Russia and been inside prisons where checks were NOT put in place against correctional officers, I am terrified for the implications. This country is in big, big trouble.

  • Scott B

    If you’re committing a misdemeanor, such as a traffic ticket or not leashing your dog, etc., then you’re not supposed to be taken to jail. You’re given a ticket to pay a fine or show up in court later, but not jail. 

    This looks like an open door some law enforcement agencies to demand bigger budgets for increased “criminal” activities, and further reduction of our rights.  Isn’t this, at its heart, unreasonable search and seizure without a warrant?  What next? “Papers please!”, anytime you’re in public?

    Mr Florence should be charging the police and courts with false arrest and quite a few other issues. 

  • Julia

    Write your CongressPerson!!! This ruling is appalling.

    http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    I’m conservative in many areas, and to me, being conservative means believing that government has no rights and must have limited powers.  I can see a reason for strip searches of prisoners who have been convicted, but we’re talking about people here with the presumption of innocence, no?  This is the kind of behavior by the government that should be pushing American citizens over the edge.

  • Michiganjf

    It’s going to take years to undo all the damage inflicted on America by the Republican Roberts court.

    It’s unbelievable how quickly Republicans seem to be able to screw this country the second they’re given any kind of authority or power.

  • jim

    I like to strip search some of the justices, especially antonin scalia and clarence thomas. they both look highly suspicious. Look, what anthony kennedy failed to do is take International History 101. the strip search reminds me of what the brownshirts and the nazis did in Nazi Germany, finding supposed criminals and innocent people purported to be enemies of the state. that includes political opponents, socialists, gays, gypsies and communists. folks, we are entering a police state.

  • http://twitter.com/Dave_Eger Dave Eger

    If they really wanted to keep contraband out of the prisons, they should strip search the guards everyday as they show up for work.

    Otherwise, this really seems like intimidation from a state convinced that more security will help the fact that people are outraged that our economy is failing because we’re spending too much on security.

    Remember that guy who said “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” This is what he was warning of. We’ve become scared stupid, and it’s so rampant, it begins to seem like it’s an intentional campaign.

  • JustSayin

    The justices should have submitted themselves incognito for strip searching to gather the actual data needed for their decision — or would they consider that prejudicial?  If so, then what does that say for their elite decision making. The reality is the justices can NEVER be arrested, or strip searched — so its good enough for the citizenry, who are all guilty until proven innocent.. 

  • sgeuka

    This is so clearly a violation of the 4th amendment it boggles the mind.  It’s time for us to rethink the power of 9 unelected justices to interpret for all of us a constitution they don’t seem to understand.

  • Witterquick

    How can we change this?  How can we protest this?

    • John in Amherst

      Petition your elected representatives in congress to hold impeachment hearings for a couple of the justices

  • Julia

    Just wait. Sexual abuse and sexual harassment cases against officers/jail management are sure to follow.

  • MarkVII88

    Given the proclivity of the traffic violations named on the show today I see every day while driving in the Burlington, VT area I can only imagine how many people are eligible for said strip searches…including the police officers who I often see neglecting to use their turn signals!  What about pedestrians who jump out in front of traffic and jaywalk?  Will they get a strip search if (yeah right…) they get hauled into the police station?

  • http://twitter.com/Dave_Eger Dave Eger

    That would be so great if this backfired on a justice when they get pulled over for speeding.

  • John in Amherst

     How often do people get hauled into jail for any number of bogus
    charges stemming from clerical errors, like non-payment of traffic
    fines, and then held for a week while it gets sorted out?  How often do
    people get jailed for simply exercising their rights of assembly and
    free speech, as in OWS arrests?  How reasonable is it to assume that
    everyone who is arrested has a shiv or vial of narcotics stuffed up
    their butt?  This ruling does little but invite state-sponsored sexual
    harassment and violation, and illustrates that conservatives favor limited government only in regards to corporate interests.  In all other respects, it seems conservatives want a literal “hands-on” approach.

  • sgeuka

    since your expert can’t read either, here’s what the amendment defends,  ”The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” — it’s not limited to arrest!

    • Ray in VT

      Well, then as long as the Court does not deem this to be an “unreasonable search and seizure”, then it passes the test, I guess.

      I’m not defending this practice or the Court’s ruling, but as long as the definition is either vague or based upon changeable standards, then I suppose that it passes the letter, but perhaps not the spirit, or the perceived spirit, of the law.

  • Jofrin

    Read the 4th Amendment!

    This ruling allows our government to behave as so many repressive governments around the world. Consider voter ID laws that repress the vote and the unlimited corporate funding of elections, and the influence of ALEC and one begins to see a frightening scenario emerging.We need to get involved with our government to stop this craziness before our police stations become mini Abu Grabs.

  • Vanessa – Jamaica Plain, MA

    This absolutely disgusts me! Honestly, what next? We should not have to walk the streets on egg shells for fear that we will have some minor habitual slip up that will lead to an invasive strip search wrought with humiliation and de-humanization.  This is truly unbelievable.

    • Pasqualecap

       You can thank the Neocon warmongers and the Israel Lobby for stirring up all this trouble in the Middle East, which is really the excuse for all of this repression of US citizens.

      You can add the bankers to the culprits as most of this was a planned diversion for an economic downturn which is far from over.

  • Anna in TN

    I keep thinking of the scene in the movie Crash where the woman is taken advantage of by a police officer during a search. This would make it legal to use police authority to take advantage of American citizens.
    My girl friends and I were stopped several times by an officer in highs chool for simply being in parking lots next to our cars. What if he could have stripped us all for being out past curfew or whatever he found suspicious? I am afraid for my younger sister who is curently in high school.

  • http://twitter.com/Dave_Eger Dave Eger

    There are a lot of people with different opinions. When you assume that everyone you place under a label share the same opinion, you show that you don’t understand how society functions.

  • Muriel

    How can the Supreme Court take on Obama’s Affordable Health Care Law on the premise that the general mandate to buy heath insurance is an overreach of the government and then rule that strip searching anyone even for no criminal offense is constitutional is not only contradictory, it is mindboggling!

    I had heard about the person who brought that case to the SC.  The only thing I did not know is that he is an African-American.  Are there statistics describing the people who are stip-searched?  Do African-American have a greater “chance” of being singled-out for strip-searches even when they have only minor offenses? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tim-Brown/1227104716 Tim Brown

    Would people still be able to bring suit against a police department if they was evidence that searches were being used as a means of punishment or intimidation? For instance, if a police department only searches 20% of the non-violent offenders they bring into holding but are searching 100% of protesters, or if the statistics are highly skewed by race, under this ruling would be still be possible to sue?

    • Chris

      Not in this police state.

      Impeach. Recall. Refuse to cooperate. 

  • Dacolberg

    When you grant anyone such control over another person, you will certainly find this power abused.  Abugrad, the Stanford study, Animal Farm. . . . How much evidence does the court need?  One can only conclude, since the court is well read and knowledgeable on these matters, that the majority intends to open such an avenue for abuse.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

    First Citizens United, then the lambasting over health care and broccoli, now this? If this isn’t evidence of conservative activism on the supreme court I don’t know what is.

    • John in Amherst

       It should be noted that whenever this conservative court makes a ruling, the GOP sees it as “upholding the law” or “following the intent of the founding fathers”.  Whenever any court rules in favor of a less conservative point of view, the GOP regards it as “judicial activism”. 

  • Jason

    I hate to play the race card, but how much of this injustice was because the guy was driving – or in this case riding – while being black? Call me cynical, but I would have been a lot more surprised by this case if the guy was white. What a sad and injust world we live in.

    • Monica Roland, Lockport, NY

      I just found out that the accused was black, so I agree with Jason.  However, the person I know in Buffalo who was strip-searched is white.  He was arrested because of a screw-up in computer records.  During a routine stop, police said there was a warrant for his arrest.  This warrant was for an UNPAID PARKING TICKET.  But the ticket was already paid!  He was held overnight in the Erie County (Buffalo) Holding Center with REAL criminals.  Disgusting!

  • Anonymous

    So what we can do to reverse the supreme court’s folly?

    • John in Amherst

      impeachment

      • Modavations

        My reactionary friend from Happy Valley.Do you understand why the :”supremes”post is for life?

    • Julia

      Write your Congressman. Get Congress or State Legislature to pass a law preventing it.

  • jim_thompson

    Tom:

    In this case, Mr. Florence was strip searched twice.  The first time when he was first arrested and incarcerated, then when he was transfered to another facility.  He was in custody the whole time, yet they strip searched him again.  Did they think he got contraband while in the first secure jail facility?  Does he have any civil recourse for the mistaken-or false-arrest and the lack of the state to correctly credit his payment which resulted in the warrant for his arrest?

  • Dave

    Shocking! I’m starting to wonder if all the Bilderberger/Illuminati/9-11 conspiracy theory nuts may be on to something. I’ve lost all respect for this Supreme Court. 
    I’m noticing that people on the Left and on the Right are in unanimous agreement that this ruling goes way too far. This is not the America I was raised to respect and believe in.

  • imjust Sayin

    Who did the court consult on this?

    One judge said it was too difficult for corrections and law enforcement to come up with a case by case policy for strip search.

    We actually have people who have college degrees, and doctorates, and professors who have served real careers and have an understanding of best practices. 

    And, in the context of private jails, and their histories of abuses, I can’t understand this.

    On the flip side, abortion protesters who want to force a woman to undergo inserted vaginal ultrasounds, may have a new perspective after they are arrested.

  • SmokeyBeagle17

    THE “FART FACTOR” WILL BRING AND END TO THIS STINKING
    SUPREME COURT RULING.

    ANYTIME YOU ARE STRIP SEARCHED YOU MUST PASS GAS IN
    THE COPS FACE.

    THE BEAGLE

    • Monica Roland, Lockport, NY

      Though my mother never allowed us to use that particular “F” word, this commenter is right!

    • Anonymous

      Then hope the examiner doesn’t use all four fingers. The point of the exercise is power. Doesn’t raising the stakes in the game seem reckless?

  • http://twitter.com/Dave_Eger Dave Eger

    If I were a police officer, I would be strongly against this ruling, since it will probably increase violent resistance against arresting officers. Not to mention that it dehumanizes the jailers who have to do the searches.

    • imjust Sayin

       interesting angle

    • Anonymous

      The On Pointers might have solicited on opinion from a police chief. 

  • Jackie

    I find it ironic that many of the same folks who howl loudly about government intervention on other matters applaud this ruling to uphold most extreme and literal form of government intervention.

  • Anonymous

    Time to withdraw the “consent of the governed.”

  • AnimalProfessional

    Just heard someone suggest that one could be strip searched for violating a leash law. I work in this field and wanted to clarify that leash law violation is not a criminal or arrestable offense.

    • imjust Sayin

       that depends on the jurisdiction.  it sounds like you might live in a reasonable one.  there actually was a real situation this happened, and that is what is being discussed.

      in my city, if you already have a dangerous animal ticket, and then caught with your dog off leash again, then yup, its off to jail for the night.

    • Tom

      You’re wrong, it happens all the time. An active duty cop in Atlanta was arrested and sent to jail for ten days for pleading guilty to violating the leash law.

  • Ellen Dibble

    As to that 70-something nun arrested at a protest, I’m thinking say the protest is on a hot topic, like a clinic that might be, as they say, murdering the unborn, there could be protests pro and con, and a thoughtful and not so nonviolent protester might be able to, with malice aforethought, smuggle a weapon of mass destruction into the jail, expecting to find all the radicals on the “other” side of the issue therein.  Something like that.  Catch all those pesky nuns and act like a 11-year-old on April Fools Day, and disgruntle all the authorities?   Can one secrete a stink bomb?  Just thinking.

  • Drew You Too

    Strip searches are just a further integration of the preemptive mentality that has completely saturated our society. There is no presumption of innocence, only a presumption of guilt.

  • Anonymous

    I spent 26 years working in a NYS maximum security prison and have done probably thousands of strip frisks. What I am hearing is that “the standard” is if an offender is to be admitted to “the general population” of the jail they may be strip frisked. In NY at least, people are not arrested and taken to a local jails (much less incarcerated) for infractions like speeding and walking your dog without a leash etc.

    • Ellen Dibble

      I can believe THAT.  The cost of maintaining the police force is a big chunk of the taxpayer’s tab.  There are better ways of spending publicly paid-for time. 

    • Tom

       Police departments are under more pressure to arrest people for what were previously “minor” infractions, to collect more processing fees.

  • Bob

    At first I thought the recent “politicization” of SCOTUS was media theatrics. Maybe not.

    You are caught jaywalking. Half of the court says the appropriate thing is to strip search this person.

    You are sitting on your couch in your own home doing nothing. Half of the court says the appropriate thing is to steal money out of your pocket and give it to a private corporation (called an insurance company).

    These two “halves” of the court are not the same. Message: no one’s protecting your rights anymore — it’s all political theater.

    • Anonymous

      I wish that it were only theater. 

      Most of what currently passes for “left” and “right” are just different flavors of fascism. 

    • John in Amherst

       The court is busy protecting rights.  The right of corporations and wealthy donors to buy elections anonymously.  The right of of local police to engage in sexual harassment and violation.  The right of government to spy on and track individuals.  And maybe the right of individuals to fend for themselves against the interests of insurance companies, big pharma.  Oh the list goes on and on….

    • Ed

      I do not believe that a decision has been rendered regarding forced insurance payments. 

      Besides, this is a false equivalence, one is a discussion of economic responsibility and the other is awarding an unrestricted power to the police state.

    • Cath1

      Bob, really,wanting people to pay for their own healthcare upfront so they don’t take money from your pockets in the form of higher taxes and higher premiums is stealing?  the healthcare bill will only affect you if you have no insurance and are feeding off others. 

  • Scott B

    The conservative members of the court seem to forget time and time again that power corrupts and any leeway will be exploited. The “Citizens Untied” debacle happened because the court didn’t think that the political machine would do exactly what it did and run amok with anonymous and unlimited funding.

    Someone is going to die from this because someone that got picked up for some ridiculous infraction was put in jail with people that harmed them.Worse, based on some of the things in the news, the people that harm them could very possibly be the police themselves.

  • Lost Cat 00

    In the case of a 70 years-old nun arrested in an anti-war protest it seems that the intention of stripping her of her habits was sheer intimidation, so she will never dare to participate in a street protest again.

    • Chris

      Of course it was. It’s more then obvious.

  • Bob

    After more then 200 years of being held in generally consistent high respect, the Supreme Court with this decision and Citizen United, is on a course to lose the public respect. Also the anticipated health care decision looks like more of the same poor reasoning, as regardless of your view of this health care law, overturning it may upend precedents and stymie solutions being considered by both left and right leaning legislators, further paralyzing any meaningful health care reform! 

  • Julia

    Is Abu Ghraib prison coming to a prison near you? How is this not reflective of that prison and what will soon happen in America?

  • Mel

    I am quickly losing respect for this Supreme Court.  First Citizens United and now this. I can understand strip searches for some crimes but not for simple violations ie: speeding, unpaid fines etc.  If law officers are unable to distinguish between real threat and simple violations perhaps we need to look at the intelligence of these officers. 

    • Drew You Too

      “perhaps we need to look at the intelligence of these officers.”

      Unfortunately it’s a case of too little too late. This is the problem with not caring about societal ills until they personally affect us.

  • Anonymous

    Prof. Orin Kerr’s defense of the Court’s opinion should be weighed in light of the fact that the opinion was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy. 

    Prof. Kerr previously worked as Justice Kennedy’s law clerk.

  • potter

    The caller is correct- this radical court is going a ways, with  to offending citizen’s sense of confidence in our justice system, where people are supposed to be innocent FIRST. If police do not know what danger a person may present, this this part of their job.

  • Kjd

    This is over the top! I don’t have a problem with the “possible threat” issue. But to just routinely do the strip search is unconstitutional. Is there any recourse for the pretty woman picked up, that the jailer wants to strip search?

  • John in Vermont

    This and the Citizens United decision both show that Justice Scalia is nothing but a big bag of wind.  If indeed he has an “original intent” underpinning to his rulings he has deviated from it in these rulings.

    I think Citizens is the “Miranda Decision” for this court – and, just like the dreaded Warren court, this group is on a rip to dismantle the rights and priviliges granted to citizens during the last half of the 20th century.  I expect there will be “Impreach John Roberts” billboards popping up across the country any day.

  • rob sprogell

    This is just another ruling that allows authorities to discriminate and profile. I live in Key West, where there is a law against open containers in public. A policeman would never say anything to me, but can use the law to harass “undesirables.”
    I am sure the police wouldn’t have strip-searched Mr. Strauss-Kahn up in New York when he was taken to the station!!!!

  • http://profiles.google.com/rickevans033050 Rick Evans

    Your mother was right. Never leave home wearing dirty underwear. 

  • imjust Sayin

    uh, excuse me, didn’t we have a 4th amendment in response to strip searches of the British who we had a revolution against.

    Is this ruling counter revolutionary?  Do we bring red coats back?

  • Dave

    In Massachusetts it is still a criminal offense to attend church without a gun or to snore in your own bed with the windows open or to even go to bed without taking a bath. Would this subject me to a squat/cough/fondle strip search once in jail? Ridiculous! We are now officially in a police state!

  • Christine

    The strip search rationale reminds me, in a small measure, of the logic used by the Supreme Court to affirm the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII.  It took a state appeal of the Korematsu case to reveal that the “military necessity” argument presented to the Court was unsupported, that documents had been altered, and facts misrepresented by the military leadership.  Leaving our rights in the hands and judgment of local or even national officials, without guidelines and scrutiny, can be very risky.

  • Jemimah

    It seems the Supreme Court is going senile.  This is beyond absurd and it’s good that you’re talking about this outrage, but what can we do to reverse this ruling? Anything??  So…

    • Chris

      Demand their impeachment.

      They are trashing our Constitution for the corporations and police state elites.

  • Salvatore Keller

    What has happened to “Innocent until Proven Guilty”?  

    If one is brought in on a completely unrelated charge, why should one be assumed to be hiding contraband in one’s body cavities?

  • Joe in Philly

    Is strip searching yet an unintended consequence of the privatization of our prison system? Incarceration rates in the US are higher than any other western country. Who benefits here? Strip searching the innocent does what, reduce the rate of violence in our (increasingly private) jails? Follow the money and remember the Supreme Court is not immune to the will of private interests.

    • Robert Riversong

      No, this has been common practice forever in state and county prisons and jails.

  • Michiganjf

    Tom,

      Please correct your guest…

    It’s NOT just ONE CASE that marks the Roberts court as “radical!”

    Now hopefully people will better understand the consequences of electing Republicans who appoint conservative clowns to the “Supreme” Court.

    • Tncanoeguy

       Judicial activism! 

      • Robert Riversong

        Judicial activism was instituted at the Supreme Court by Nixon appointee Justice Lewis Powell.

        “Under our constitutional system, especially with an activist-minded Supreme Court, the judiciary may be the most important instrument for social, economic and political change.” – Lewis Powell, secret memo to the US Chamber of Commerce, 1971 (he was appointed to SCOTUS in 1972)

  • Oldseed

    John is wrong!!  I was arrested in Virginia in 1969 for drug possession.  Was not strip searched at jail was not strip searched at the Bland County Farm was not strip searched at VA state pen.  

  • Chris

    The Supreme Court is making sure the criminal elite in this country have every and all means to control the people.

    They are supreme whores for the criminal rich.

    • Tncanoeguy

       Woody Guthrie story the other day – song lyric says something to the effect of…You can be robbed by a guy with a six shooter or a guy with a fountain pen…

  • Consultant

    I think this is a great decision and reflects the clear understanding of the Constitution by the 5 majority justices.  The shrill outrage by those who are so “offended” reflects a lack of common sense and the expected reaction by those whose heads are in the clouds.  GET REAL!!!!!!!! ASHBROOK

    • Robert Riversong

      May you be among the first to experience the outcome of this decision. Then you’ll “get real”.

  • Quichotte

    I can’t wait until some Corporation (now a person according to the USSC) is arrested in TX and strip searched! 

  • Andrew

    Wait and see what happens to the kids when they end up in jail after Occupying…

  • Tim

    Now the rich get to see how the poor majority are treated. That caller was right, it’s the same principle that says we should have a draft so everyone feels the crushing loss of your kids and friends dying for nothing. The only way we’ll end the wars, and reform the prisons.

    • Anonymous

      The rich have already seen how the poor are treated. Rarely will they experience it for themselves.

  • Ellen Dibble

    The last caller was pointing out that the police are always using their judgment situation by situation.  Beyond that, I’d say citizens and law enforcement, both, are always using judgment.  We obviously don’t cede this ALL to the police.  I am remember one of many cases.  At the same supermarket I mentioned before, there was a line of tall men standing outside by the plants for sale, and I had to pass by them all to get to my bike. One of them stepped forward and asked me if I’d give him a lift home.  I told him I didn’t have a car, and he hauled back his arm and hit me, not very hard because it didn’t knock me over, but close.  And on my way home, I stopped by the police station, described the man, and said, “Watch out for that one.”  ”Do you want to prosecute?”  ”No.”  

  • Jan Krause

    What makes this even more frightening and more outrageous is the move to privatizing prisons, jails and long enforcement in general.

    • Tncanoeguy

       Crime does pay…for companies like CCA. 

      • Chris

        These private corporations are using prison labor for for-profit companies to avoid paying decent wages to millions of Americans.

      • Robert Riversong

        And pays better yet for white collar criminals who are exempt from pedestrian laws.

  • catgirl

    Oren Kerr is avoiding taking any responsibility, just as did the majority in this case.
    And he is wrong- to the extent the Supreme Court chooses not to micromanage (except for the health care law, local gun regulations, etc) in the cases of human rights, they have joined the other two branches of government in losing respect as just another political constituency.
    The threat of the US as a police state has become real – it has become so as the prisons have been turned over to for-profit companies. Arresting and criminalizing people is now big business. And now we turn running the prisons over to private big business. Isn’t the role of government to mitigate the boundaries where our social and economic lives meet?

  • Nonahershey

    This decision isn’t some sort of precautionary ploy to set the stage for making the political climate ultimately more tolerant of Abu Ghraib type offenses if we ever get around to trying anyone is it????

  • Steve

    “Send lawyers, guns, and money…the sh**t has hit the fan”

    Most people can only gain access to one of the above.

    • Ray in VT

      That is a greatly under appreciated tune.

  • Dianakrystofiak

    What can citizens do about this if they feel strongly that this ruling is not OK.   

    What about medical risks.  A woman with prolapsed uterus, rectum or vagina could be damaged by this type of search being done by someone who is not medically savvy.  

  • John, Holden, MA

    Years ago I was picked up and put in a holding cell for reckless driving. I wasn’t drinking but I was behaving badly. As soon as the guard walked away I was approached by a man with with some sort of weapon.  All I can remember is that I screamed like hell and fended off my attacker for a good five minutes before the guards returned. Perhaps if my assailant had been properly searched, my broken ribs, nose and permant scars could have been avoided. I’d gladly trade a little dignity in exchange for my personal safety.

    This arguement reminds me of the uproar over the new xray screening procedures by TSA. Come on scholars and academics, we life in a dangerous world. Get over it. 

    • Robert Riversong

      “Shivs” or “shanks” are more often manufactured within the prison than brought in from outside. And, given the level of corruption among underpaid corrections officers, it’s likely that many are involved in contraband moving into the facilities.

      We live in a dangerous world if we make it so with irrational social policies and a willing acceptance of loss of rights and dignity for an (often) imagined security.

      “Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.” – Ben Franklin

  • Klaus

    Thank you for bringing this outrageous decision to the public’s attention!  I have been lying awake at night due to this.

    I was aghast that Justice Scalia, the orginalist reader of the Constitution, could not find the principles of liberty, “protection against unreasonable search”, and “innocent until proven guilty”, while apparently “convenience of running a prison” is now a constitutional principle.  Justice Kennedy basically wrote that we could all be dangerous criminals, and should be treated accordingly.  This Supreme Court has not done its duty of defending the constitutional liberties of citizens.Prisons could have a separate wing for people charged with misdemeanors, so they cannot carry dangerous objects into the general population of convicted criminals in the prison.

    • Chris

      They are the criminals Klaus. Remember that. Not us, The average people of this country. 

      THEY ARE THE CRIMINALS AS THEY ARE TRASHING OUR CONSTITUTION IN SERVICE OF  THE CRIMINAL ELITE.

    • Robert Riversong

      Yes, but that might require building new prisons, and the only ones building new prisons today are private corporations. Catch 22.

  • Larry Lynch

    If I follow the logic of this decision, it appears to be the case that in California where much of the prison system is in private hands, one could find oneself strip searched and held by a private mercenary paramilitary organization, not any civil authority.  Seems one step closer to what we used to imagine as something practiced outside what used to be called the free world.

    • Chris

      Baby you are living in the criminal elites’ version of the “free world”. 

      They are free, you are nothing.

    • Robert Riversong

      It’s not much different from an old West sheriff “deputizing” private citizens to enforce the law.

      But the myth of American freedom has been mostly that from our inception.

  • mg/ omaha, ne

    SCOTUS ruling is innocent until proven guilty accept by law enforcement  jails, corrections and holdings cells.

    • Robert Riversong

      What most Americans don’t know is that all the constitutional protections that have been granted to criminal defendants don’t apply in civil court, including what is often called Family Court.

      In civil proceedings, one has to prove one’s innocence, one cannot invoke the fifth amendment, one doesn’t need to be Mirandized, one has no right to an attorney or to an appeal, and one can – theoretically – be held in jail for life for contempt of court (often a six month maximum, but renewable indefinitely).

  • Kassie

    Tom, 

    I don’t understand how you can be taken into the station and strip searched if you are not under arrest.  How is it that I get pulled over for a traffic violation, or I’m walking my dog without a leash and I end up in the police station?  Why is it that this is a course of action taken by police instead of just ticketing when a ticket could suffice?

    • Robert Riversong

      Tickets require more paperwork?

  • imjust Sayin

    This caller has a good point.  It sounds like this could be a “back door” ruling to 1st amendment.

    • Steve

      nicely done

  • James Mills

    Why is the Tea Party, in its various forms, not absolutely up in arms about this decision???  Does this decision not pave the way to just the kind of blatant intrusion of the state into personal liberty that led to the mobilization of these ‘liberty loving patriots’?? 

    • Steve

      “time to get a gun, that’s what I’ve been thinkin…
      I could afford one, if I just quit drinkin…”

      • Modavations

        Remember,the bullet comes out the end that has the hole in it

    • Robert Riversong

      Perhaps because hard-right conservatives believe in both individual freedom and individual responsibility. So, if someone gets arrested, they deserve whatever consequences befall them. No “bleeding hearts” allowed. Criminals don’t have rights.

  • Tscrap62

    A key piece of this that I don’t understand is why was this man put into the general population of the jail in the first place when he was supposed to be brought to a magistrate, not jail.

    • Anonymous

      Because the arresting officers failed to perform the order of the Warrant.

  • Tim

    As Orwell said… “The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.
    “The intimidation is not the byproduct, but the POINT, of this sort of procedure.

    • Robert Riversong

      Bingo!

  • Matthew Nmn Thompson

    What you’re talking about is citizens being imprisoned for absurd offenses! That’s the problem. Safety in prison is paramount regardless of the offenses of the individual. All who enter are a threat to the population and the corrections officers. What needs to happen is a reevaluation for silly offenses that can land good people in jail.

    • Robert Riversong

      “All who enter are a threat to the population and the corrections officers.”

      That’s the assumption – not the reality. And the system is far more concerned about the safety of the corrections officers than that of the inmates.

  • imjust Sayin

    This supreme court also says that corporations are people.

    So, how do we strip search one of those?

    • Ray in VT

      I like the slogan that I’ve seen floating around:  “I’ll believe that corporations are people when Texas executes one.”

    • Steve

      With a computer

    • JGC

      I have to agree there have been numerous outrageous 5-4 decisions from the Roberts court.  Citizens United, now  this strip search extravaganza, and possibly overturning the Affordable Care Act, negating the Commerce Clause for the first time in its long existence.  Here is my question though:  OK, they are perhaps goading people/Congress to make legislation to avoid these random, wanton strip searches.  And let’s say Congress does pass such a bill.  But, since the people/Congress passed the Affordable Care Act (yes, Obamacare!), and the Supreme Court will possibly overturn that, what is to say a Congressional statute on reasonable strip search will not again be overturned by the Roberts Court? Essentially, is there no ultimate check on the Supreme Court? Help, I am feeling very threatened.  If I were to accidentally meet up with Justices Scalia and Alito in Diagon Alley while vacationing at Universal Studios, FL, I might feel compelled to reach into my pocket and pull out a fully loaded bag of Skittles. Take that!

  • http://twitter.com/planetirving Irving Steinberg

    Is Strip Searching the Western version of a “Virginity Test”, a means of humiliation, regardless of gender and crime? 

    • Robert Riversong

      Bullseye! The entire American prison system runs on humiliation, degradation, and the stripping of human dignity and autonomy in order to maintain order and control.

      This makes it little different from the Medieval dungeons and makes a lie out of the notion of “corrections” or rehabilitation.

  • Mark

    This case is really about the judgement of the police, and how much we trust that judgement. Historically, a strip search has been allowed. In recent history, the pendulum has swung.  The reason the pendulum swung to restrict police action (eg. Miranda act) was because we saw that the law enforcement officers were also creating and maintaining inequality of class, race, etc. And, that they were doing so over the long term.

    So the real question, is do we now think that racism and class discrimination is sufficiently in control that we can trust our front line – the police.

  • Michiganjf

    Tom,

      What do you mean “What about safety in the jail?!!!!”

    Didn’t you just answer that question by claiming 23,000 searches reulted in only ONE CASE of contraband being found?!!!!

    • Tim

       I think he was getting uncomfortable with the subject and had to revert to the “both sides are equal” pseudo-journalistic nonsense to feel comfy again.

    • Ellen Dibble

      I think if you notice inmates are escaping by digging tunnels, you take precautions to prevent that.   And if you notice that inmates are succeeding in smuggling  in contraband on their bodies, you take precautions for that.   Maybe those 23,000 searches were conducted in a span of time when it was widely known that such strip-searches would likely be conducted, and thus it wasn’t attempted.

  • AndyF

    First, if the man in question had not been black, you can be sure this ruling would have gone a different way…

    Second, I sincerely hope that Scalia or Alito or any of those Justices failing to do their job and instead, playing politcal games, get stopped for a broken taillight and then strip-searched.  I will wager a year’s pay that THEY would not be thinking quite the same way after that…

    Its always easy to make bizarre rulings when you think they will never apply to you or your “kind”.  The Nazi’s did a great job at that!

  • Ad_phipps

    The comment about the airports is misleading.  We do not get surched or interrogated for security.  If it was security we would have to be searched before riding a bus, taking a train, or renting a van. 

    • Tim

       That sharade is coming soon as well. Look up VIPR teams and other unconstitutional searches. I was searched boarding a ferry in Martha’s Vineyard by TSA… I agree with you in principle though.

      • Chris

        Do you think they searched the rich people flying there in their private jets and helicopters?

        I’ll bet everything I have the TSA doesn’t.

        • Robert Riversong

          Hey! If the TSA had these screening procedures in place before 9/11, then Osama bin Laden could never have got on those four flights.

          Whoops, he didn’t, and the FBI never charged OBL for any involvement in 9/11.  But he sure was a convenient excuse for treating the rest of us like terrorists.

    • Robert Riversong

      Oh, come on. Terrorists don’t take buses – they always travel first class.

  • Chris

    People, understand that you are nothing to the criminal elite.

    If they can’t make a buck off of you whatever way possible you are worthless to them.

    If you are unhappy with their corrupt system, you must be shut down.

    • Robert Riversong

      Here’s an interesting Orwellian thought: Maybe the reason that America puts so many citizens behind bars is to protect them from the criminal elite who run the country. 

      In jail, we at least get “three hots and a cot”. Outside, we might lose our job, lose our home, and lose our support system. Might be safer in jail?

      • catgirl

        Yup- Remember when Barbara Bush publicly opined that the people living in the dome in New Orleans after Katrina were probably living better there than in their homes before the hurricane?
        The dome and jail are better for the 99% of us, no?

        • Robert Riversong

          It’ll give us a chance for an on-going General Assembly and a continuous “occupation”.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I think sheriffs are elected where I live, and are therefore accountable in more than the court of public opinion.  Or perhaps the voting booth is the ultimate court of public opinion.  
        But some states judges are elected not appointed.  Maybe the same is true of sheriffs?

    • Robert Riversong

      I think sheriffs are generally elected officials, but that in itself doesn’t make them accountable if no one knows what they do within their fiefdom.

      In Franklin County MA, we had a long-time sheriff who not only ran the jail (county work farm) but also lived there with his family, who had the inmates growing marijuana between the rows of corn for both contraband within the jail and outside profit.

      While he was investing in illegal activities, he neglected to replace the rotting rubber face masks of the self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) that was required for the corrections officers in the event of a fire. Every cell would have to be unlocked manually in order to evacuate the jail, but REAL safety was less of a concern than the imagined safety that comes from strip searches.

      • Ellen Dibble

        This is an excellent of why freedom of speech is important, and why it sometimes has to be defended strenuously.  In this case, the “speech” might best be effectuated by hearsay, by someone who heard about it, and then someone else, and then someone else.  And after a certain point, by whatever means of circulation, there would be a “critical mass” of the population that would have enough clout that it could create change.  

        • Modavations

          Ellen,ellen,never listen to a felon,felon

        • Robert Riversong

          It was freedom of the press which ended that nightmare.

  • Scott B

    Regarding the caller that said everyone should be strip-searched regardless of infraction:

    If that’s the argument, then EVERY citizen is not just a potential criminal, but IS a criminal regardless of the infraction, legitimate or not. 

    What’s this going to look like on job application swhen they ask:  Have you ever been arrested?  “Yes”  Reason: “I unknowingly dropped a piece paper and was charged with littering.”  Not “fined”, not “warned”, not “The cops said, ‘You dropped something, Sir,’”. Arrested.

  • Rabidferret

    Individual police officers are not consistent and lawful, as the New Orleans shootings, Rodney King, etc proved.

    This seems like a free pass for those same types of officers to molest people with little repercussions.

    Citizen: “That officer touched me inappropriately”
    Court: “He was just doing his job, sorry.”

    SO messed up…

  • imjust Sayin

    Hmm…

    At a typical protest situation, like say, a pro-life/pro-choice demonstration, protesters on both sides are often arrested.

    If protesters are putting themselves to this level of risk, will it actually increase the level of respect we give their commitment?

    • http://twitter.com/bob_saccamanno Bob Sacamano

      I think that’s true, and it is likely that after it happens a few times state legislatures will react with hopefully well thought out limiting legislation.

      • catgirl

        But why do we need legislation limiting infringements on what one assumes to be natural rights? I kind of had this idea growing up in the 20th century that the Bill of Rights was pretty great- it didn’t say what you had to do, rather it said what you couldn’t do- and that included unlawful search and seizure- doesn’t that imply that you would need a law TO search and seize; not a law to prevent search and seizure?

        • http://twitter.com/bob_saccamanno Bob Sacamano

          I think that the bright side is that this is one of the decisions that can be ameliorated and of necessity will be addressed. Other things like the inane drug war I don’t have as much hope. Perhaps I’m being a Pollyanna, or perhaps it’s because I’m not as upset by this ruling as others clearly are. But I think if middle class people get affected by something there will be a push back. But you are right that some innocent people’s rights will be trampled upon in the interim.

  • Jtk923

    The question we must ask ourselves as Americans is not how do you keep a jail environment safe from contraband, but why we are so obsessed with locking people up for minor, non-violent offenses.  Why would a bicyclist without a bell be subjected to jail under any circumstances?  Not only is the cost of such treatment outrageous, but the punishment in no way fits the “crime.”  We incarcerate far more of our citizens than any other country on the planet.  Don’t get lost in thinking about what happens when you get to jail.  Think about who is being taken to jail, and why.  Jail is punishment in its own right, and we ought to be more judicious about how our jails are used, and when.

    • Robert Riversong

      As one caller said, this is really the larger context. We are a nation intent on sweeping all social problems under the rug rather than dealing with them honestly, rationally, and humanely.

  • http://twitter.com/bob_saccamanno Bob Sacamano

    Wow hearing how upset people are I again experience the proverbial divide between those who have/haven’t served in the military. Just doesn’t bother me – and if I’ end up in the general pop jail I want everyone else to have been strip searched. Let states make some limiting rules esp regarding free expression arrests.

    • imjust Sayin

      It just doesn’t bother you until your relative is put in a private corporation jail and is receiving strip searches while you pay taxes to a private company for that privilege.  Did we serve in the military for that?

      • http://twitter.com/bob_saccamanno Bob Sacamano

        Look at John in Holden, MA’s comment below. Imagine your loved one in that situation. If you’ve been in the military, especially enlisted in combat arms like I was, you’ve probably been in situations that are uncomfortable and dangerous. Wouldn’t want your loved ones subjected to the dangerous ones and if uncomfortable is the price then so be it. If the court ruled the other way prisons might have been too hamstrung in the opposite direction. The answer is for state legislatures to make limiting rules that make sense and based on established practice. 

    • Robert Riversong

      Doesn’t bother you, perhaps, because the US military uses similar tactics of dehumanization during boot camp in order to break your spirit and remake you into an obedient servant who when told to jump, will ask “how high” and shout “yes, sir”.

      • http://twitter.com/bob_saccamanno Bob Sacamano

        You remind me of that Seinfeld episode with “Eric the Clown” when George is exasperated that “Eric” doesn’t know about “Bozo the clown” “Eric” (played by the director of Iron Man, btw), says: “you’re livin in the past, man, talking about some clown from the sixties!” Google it, it’s high larious!

      • Ellen Dibble

        You lose your credibility with me right here, because — well, I notice even those drafted into the service have been pretty proud of that service, and seem to have absorbed some pretty important values about our common humanity and mutual interdependence, and our capacity to achieve when we are strictly conforming where necessary.  I don’t know a lot of veterans who have been dehumanized.  Some have been hugely humanized by their service.  Thank you, Uncle Sam.

        • Modavations

          Never believe a felon,ellen

        • Robert Riversong

          Not only do you know nothing about jail or civil disobedience, but you know nothing at all about military service in time of war, particularly the involuntary servitude of the draft.

          The real reason that the Vietnam War ended, in addition to the broad public protest and the fact that we just couldn’t lick those peasants, was because there was a near mutiny among the troops, many of whom were refusing orders or “fragging” (killing) their commanding officers, and heavily engaged in drinking or drugs to escape reality.

          There were hundreds of My Lai massacres, a terrorist act that can be done only by those who have had their own humanity stripped from them. 

          Shell shock or PTSD doesn’t happen among well-adjusted happy-go-lucky soldiers. It happens to people who are forced into an institution and an experience which steals everyone’s humanity – both “enemy” and “good guy”. 

          And, even in peacetime, boot camp is designed to break the spirit of new recruits so they can be molded into obedient and soul-less robots. Why do you think rape is now so common in the “new army”? Because everyone is so “humanized”?

  • Nancy Harley

    If this ruling doesn’t justify unreasonable searches, I can’t think what would. When elderly nuns are strip-searched we have lost not only all sense of propriety & common sense.  And, to me, we experience a small taste of this at every airport when toddlers are patted down at security points. To a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  Where’s George Orwell when we need him?

    • Robert Riversong

      When I was among the nine non-violently non-cooperating men brought to CT state prison for protesting the launching of the first Trident nuclear submarine in 1979 (we were arraigned in a prison bus because we refused to walk into court, but not convicted), and a prison “trustee” (inmate with special privileges) was ordered to strip us, the poor man could not remove the clerical collar of the Roman Catholic priest  who was part of our group. 

      It would have been humorous if the whole process wasn’t so degrading – to both the trustee and to us. But that is how every jail and prison in America functions: humiliation and degradation in order to maintain power and control.

      • Modavations

        Never believe a felon

        • Robert Riversong

          I would trust most felons a lot more than I trust almost anyone in politics today. I would take an honest scoundrel any day over a disingenuous ideologue like you.

          And, FYI, I got my felony arrest record expunged (just like Zimmerman) through a community diversion program. That was felony possession of marijuana (2 ounces) in CA in 1972. And I was framed.

  • Bran

    Although not relevant to this radical Supreme Court ruling, does  Mr. Florence at least have a right to sue the state authorities for illegal arrest and incarceration, and all the rest?

    • Robert Riversong

      He has the right, but not any likelihood of success, since the computer record indicated he was not in compliance.

  • Anonymous

      The psychological warfare is being waged on the citizens of this country.  What is it going to take?  How can each and every one of us not want to paint our message of what we stand for, or against, on a piece of cardboard, gather and march in the streets? It is being said over and over again that this is the only thing that will work to get things started to turn what is going on, around. This complacency is destroying us and will only escalate if we continue to do nothing.  United We Stand, Divided We Fall.  The time is NOW! 

    • Drpmeade

       We are all definitely at risk If a law enforcement officer has an issue with an individual (read profiling) then all bets are off.

      One would perhaps wish that one of our esteemed conservative justices would be hauled into jail and striped searched after this ruling, but that is only wishful thinking. 

  • Tncanoeguy

    Indeed, in a country where you have privatized prisons, and crime pays for companies like CCA, there will be an incentive and even lobbying for criminalizing more activities. 

  • Scott B

    The more people that get put in jail, and the use the court system, the more the law enforcement and judicial system can say,”Look at how much work we have! We need more cops, more weapons, more laws, more courts, more jails…!” 

  • Ellen Dibble

    Now I hear the decision does not apply except to the “general (jail/prison) population,” if I heard right.  That would seem to make the decision WAY more acceptable.  Why would a thousand protesters be put in the general population?  Because they wouldn’t fit in the local holding cells? As one of the panelists mentioned, why not release them all on their own recognizance. Those that don’t show up in court can be pursued if necessary. But you’d think that showing up in court might really be the objective of the protesters. Get as much public exposure as possible. Courts are open.

    • Ellen Dibble

      By the way, the local holding cells are very expensive to maintain.  They can be a section of the jail, and as I recall the local jail was leasing out a section to several dozen communities, who would send their arrestees to the local jail to be kept there till arraigned and decided upon.  But the cost of renting that section of the jail was mind-boggling to this tax-payer.  And the money was not forthcoming, and all those communities were going to have to set up little lockups, including communities with call-forwarding from regional dispatch and no full-time coverage at all.  But it makes me wonder, because the significance of that regional holding area was that those individuals would NOT go into the general jail population. Apparently great lengths are gone to, in order to keep someone who happened to be way too drunk, say, from being exposed to the “general population,” not that there would be any lice in the general population, obviously, but for other reasons.

    • Robert Riversong

      I was last in jail for the civil offense of contempt of (Family) court (for having the audacity to insist on pleading my case rather than merely answering a Yes or No question) and put in the general population, including murderers and other violent criminals, for a six month sentence.

      The strip search was only the beginning of generalized dehumanization, which is the modus operandi of all American jails and prisons.  

      • Ellen Dibble

        Dear God!

        • Robert Riversong

          God is not allowed within our jails. Except on Sundays when inmates go to “chapel” for the coffee and donuts and a chance to get out of “population”.

          I went to chapel, even though I’m not religious or Christian, because it was one of only two places where smoking wasn’t allowed (the other being the library). Otherwise, I had to breathe cigarette smoke 24/7.

          • Ellen Dibble

            How many jails have you, um, sampled?  You generalize a lot about jails and their dehumanization, and I do know of people who rather enjoy jail.  These are among the protesting sort, and the jailers probably distinguish, and maybe they should, because nonviolent protest is not intended to “disturb the peace” and not intended to make law enforcement more difficult than necessary.

          • Robert Riversong

            I’ve been in a Detroit city lockup, a California country jail, the CT state prison, and a MA county jail. I engaged in two waterless fasts – one for six days and another for ten days.

            And I’ve known many activists who’ve been behind bars, but never have I met anyone who “rather enjoy[s] jail”.

            If jailers distinguish between “ordinary criminals” and non-violent protesters, it’s often to make it worse for the protesters who they often view as traitors.

            And non-violent protest is specifically designed to disturb the peace, to shake up the normal order, to force arrest and sometimes even violent response in order to expose to the public the injustice and inhumanity of the status quo.

            You seem to know nothing about either non-violent civil disobedience or about jail.

        • Modavations

          You can’t believe a felon,Ellen

    • Yar

      Ellen, I recently watched a show about the freedom riders.  They were sent  Mississippi State Penitentiary (known as Parchman Farm). It should give context to this ruling.  No, it does not make the decision way more acceptable.  Officials should have to justify why they are putting any person in the general prison population. Prisons should not be a place where anyone is subjected to acts of violence.
      Matthew 25:36 I needed clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you took care of me. I was in prison, and you visited me.

      • Ellen Dibble

        I’m wondering about “officials should have to justify why they are putting any person in the general prison population.”  It seems to me that where I live, if an arrestee cannot be held outside of the “general” jail population, they have to be released, and that is why there was urgency about re-renting the lockup.  
            People who included potentially very dangerous individuals would have had to be set free, and sometimes after what might have been a very long and time-consuming effort to bring them to that first stage of the justice system.  (I’m not sure about that, and I suspect it varies state by state.)    But what is worrying me now is that first step, where someone is warned, released on their own recognizance till a court date, a variety of options.  It is possible that police actually want their statistics to show they have effected the maximum number of arrests to justify their continued employment, so the idea of simply telling someone, “hey, get a new muffler” is not very attractive if your job is on the line.  Some police are way overworked and therefore make snap judgments rather than considered ones; other police are way underworked and try to inflate the scope of their power.

  • http://www.facebook.com/baxtonia Kevin Baxter

    if the purpose is to limit contraband… and we know that some guards bring in contraband, shouldn’t they have to go through a strip search/car search to go to work?

  • Anonymous

    SCOTUS is an embarrassment.

    • Chris

      Not embarrassment, criminal and corrupt.

      • Scott B

         I wouldn’t say criminal, but some are certainly rooted in ideology, and often not able to see further than their collective nose as to how their decisions will be exploited. 

        • Tim

           THey swore an oath to defend the constitution.

        • Chris

          You are very wrong. This is not innocent naiveté.

          When John McCain describes their Citizens United decision he claims it is that.

          No. This, and their other decisions are deliberately treasonous to the Constitution. 

          They know full well that foreign money can now buy our elections with their Citizens United ruling.

          Believe it. It was deliberate.

          They work for the criminal elite.

  • Drew You Too

    The caller who said that the problem is that individuals are brought to prison unjustifiably was dead On Point. We have to keep those privately run for profit prisons in the black. It’s pretty obvious that’s how the SCOTUS feels about the situation. Money Talks, Freedom walks.

  • eric

    Given the amount of contraband in Jail and the 1in 23000 finding in strip search survey  seems like they need to find the real conduit of contraband.  Jail workers perhaps?? Strip search them in service to “safety”??

    • imjust Sayin

      Even though this statistic  against strip searches, it would still be meaningless if it supported strip searches. 

      If, even if, there were a greater number of contraband found in strip searches, – than the 1 in 23,000 – say – 1 in 100, it would still not meet the criteria of the 4th amendment of the constitution.

       

      • http://twitter.com/bob_saccamanno Bob Sacamano

        There is potentially a deterrent effect to consider, however. If they didn’t strip search then people under arrest wouldn’t toss the contraband the way we assume they do now.

  • Scott B

    There’s going to be a LOT of lawsuits for unlawful arrest. There’s a reason there the misdemeanors.  I can almost (but not quite) understand the cops issue with the warrant, since it wasn’t listed as being paid in the system, but the cops clearly didn’t want to hear Mr Florence’s answer.  But all this could have been easily resolved with a little more use of the same computer they had in the squad car. 

     

  • Concerned parent and citizen

    What about the potential for abuse by police officers?  Leaving political or racial prejudice aside, what would prevent a pretty young girl from being stripped search for some cop’s amusement. Don’t say it can’t happen. Do they videotape this stuff too?

  • http://www.facebook.com/JOCKO53 Jim Conlin

    There is an obvious reason for strip searches that  is overlooked by your guest. It is not to dehumanize the inmate The procedure actually benefits  the inmate by providing a that stops weapons and other contraband from being introduced into the jail which could be used to intimidate and cause him physical harm. The procedure is for everyones safety.It is necessary and the Supreme Court Justices realize that. Also the strip search is not a traumatic  experience it really is no big deal, Most  men don’t have a problem with it, I know I was a Correction Officer for 29 years.   Your guests are not dealing it the real world however ever they do eloquently express their ivory tower  opinions very well considering they have no first hand experience on the subject.

    • RL

       Great!  Let it happen to your wife, daughter, mother…
      will you feel the same way? No big deal, huh?

      Who’s safety? You’re in a jail for cripesake. I could see if you’re arrested for a serious crime but this ruling is off the wall and as soon as people start to wake up and see what extremists are running the country (or seeking to) the safer our freedom will be.

      • Ellen Dibble

        I guess these extremists have been running the country since the 1960s.  Remember the caller who was arrested during a Vietnam War protest?  And I actually know a 70-year-old woman who was arrested and strip-searched during a protest over some of the defense industry’s local undertakings during a sit-in at a university chancellor’s office.  So she WAS trespassing after a certain point, and she told me that being arrested was more of an intrusion than she had anticipated (no kidding), but that certain things are worth doing anyway.  After a rather protracted court proceeding, protracted thanks to a very determined ACLU lawyer, the point was made, but I’m not sure if the defense department had to mend its ways.

  • Makingfun

    Thank you for your coverage this morning on the Supreme Court ruling.  I’ve really appreciated your show, esp your taking on controversial and politicized issues of late.

  • Robert Riversong

    The unspoken secret in regard to the “necessity” for strip searches is that it has very little to do with contraband. 

    What is universally understood by the corrections community in America is that security behind bars depends on the power of the officers to break the spirit of the detainees, and that requires stripping them not just of clothes but of all human dignity and autonomy.

    This should not be surprising in a nation which uses the rhetoric of individual freedom but makes security its highest priority. Nor should it be surprising when the purpose of incarceration is to punish, not to rehabilitate (which would require supporting, not diminishing, human dignity). Nor should it be surprising in a country which prefers to sweep social problems under the rug (or into prison) rather than confront them head on.

    • Ellen Dibble

      This would seem to require a kind of conflict of interest among the law enforcement community:  on the one hand, to be paragons of fairness, respect, and restraint; on the other hand, to be exemplars of the mentality that creates criminals, to seize opportunities to dehumanize others, take advantage of others, to use power rather than communication, all that.  OMG.  They have to be schizophrenic.  So what do they do when they see someone on the street who’s no longer locked up?  They have to completely switch from the power dynamic to the respect dynamic?  Actually, I think yes, and lawyers eventually get interpolated into that dynamic if the individual is brought in for questioning about some further incident.  
      Possibly, the well-run correctional institutions actually still work on respect, and only resort to dehumanizing inmates if they seem incorrigible, in which case maybe facilities that deal with neurological dysfunctions, jails for the mentally ill, with appropriately trained professionals, are required.

      • Robert Riversong

        “Possibly, the well-run correctional institutions actually still work on respect”

        I take it you’ve never been inside. They all run on the same principle: dehumanize and control. It’s the American form of penitence, and therefore we should call prisons “penitentiaries” and not “correctional facilities”.

        And a too-large percentage of police officers operate on the same paradigm: power over.

        • Ellen Dibble

          There is a huge difference between dehumanize and control.  Control is what sociologists speak of as the original nonsin — I forget the term.  The “social contract,” by which we conform, even to things that have no practical use.  Religion, that you refer to below, is a very good example of this.  Everybody kneels, women wear hats, everybody stands, everybody sits.  There is something comforting in knowing that the social environment is controlled.
             In the case of jail uniforms, I can imagine if someone wore their own clothes, they could bring in lice or bedbugs, and others would get infested, and then there would be lawsuits against the jail for spreading this or that.  Sometimes there are good reasons.  
              I’m thinking of my high school where we had to wear beanies, and I think that was only for chapel, which was daily at 6:30, and some nights, but you got punished for not having it on at those times.  The punishment was not insignificant, because we were all being driven pretty hard to get good grades, and if we were hit with a few afternoons of shoveling snow, for instance, we’d get lower grades for those days’ assignments, and so on and so forth.  And that did happen to me.  The beanie must have fallen off or something, but I remember standing up in job assembly when called out, and then they told me since I had no other offenses, or something like that, I had no punishment.  I wasn’t into challenging rules in those days, but I still don’t like the idea that someone else forgetting their beanie might have had to lose a few afternoons of study time, whereas I “got away with it.”  It seems unfair.  Unlike a jail, though, we were all at the school on a very selfish mission:  to do what we were supposed to do, per our parents.  There wasn’t a communal purpose, as in the army.  Jails, according to you they are even more highly regimented.

          • Robert Riversong

            A social contract is a consensual agreement to live within certain standards. Control is power over another person, which requires or results in the dehumanization of both parties.

  • Abm84

    It’s Easter week; Catholics remember Jesus’ painful bodily humiliation [NAKED] at the hands of the arrogant, contemptuous Roman Soldiers. I wonder if these 5 Roman Catholic justices have ever heard this story? Kennedy’s reference to Timothy McVey was absurd—a red herring.I’m appalled, disgusted and ashamed

  • http://twitter.com/bob_saccamanno Bob Sacamano

    The political impact of this ruling may land in Obama’s favor. Perception that the Court has overreached in a conservative direction may have a psychological effect for Justice Kennedy in the Health care decision. And if the Health care decision goes against Obama it helps the Dems argue that the Court made a partisan decision in that case too. 

    • catgirl

      From your mouth to god’s ears

    • Robert Riversong

      Sorry, but the outrage over “individual mandates” is not a partisan issue, and people from across the spectrum see it as an unconstitutional infringement on individual liberties.

      • http://twitter.com/bob_saccamanno Bob Sacamano

        @RR you are too much, buddy. Have a nice life!

    • leashlaws

      The judges have already voted in the Health care case as I understand it.  But it won’t be public for a while.

      • http://twitter.com/bob_saccamanno Bob Sacamano

        They take an initial vote, but in the process of writing the opinions they discuss with their clerks and to some extent with each other and opinions may change. It is a problem with writing in comment sections like this and twitter feeds that the process all too often leads to sound byte perfection rather than honing a sustained argument. The latter can lead you to change your mind. 

  • PlowshareCathy

    I think the dehumanization of prisoners is on of the the reasons we have so much violence in this country.  Searches should be limited to looking for dangerous weapons.  You don’t have to lift your breasts or testicles to insure that the prisoner is not concealing a dangerous weapon.  As for drugs, let the poor bastards lock-up for years on end enjoy a high once in a while.  It will not do as much harm as the invasive strip search.  Not only are the prisoners thoroughly dehumanized, the guards are also.  Having that much power to absolutely humiliate and dehumanize another human being makes them less human.  Strip searches are a recent invention and since their introduction, violence against prison guards and police have increased, not decreased.  People will take any steps to defend themselves against dehumanization, because dehumanization is a form of death. 

    • Robert Riversong

      One elaboration: While it’s true that engaging in dehumanizing actions also degrades the soul of the actor (corrections officers, in this case), the exercise of total power and control over others is just as much a “high” as that provided by any drug – and, in this case, it’s legal.

  • Spirit17of76

    On Point 4/5/12  

    Supreme Court decision yesterday allows strip searches for arrestees:

    The Supreme Court has disgraced itself – yet again.  Its reputation decays further as it “defers”  to the whims of (often unelected) prison administrators, some of them employees in for-profit prison systems.

    This at a time when the “High” Court no longer defers to the bipartisan deliberations of the US Congress in limiting campaign spending on electioneering in the days immediately prior to US elections – legislation put in place for the expressed purpose of safeguarding democratic institutions.

    Respect for this partisan, unwise group of “Justices” can lo longer stand.

    • Brettearle

      I emphatically agree with the above comment.

      When we, as citizens–who hold high regard for civil liberties–can no longer respect the highest court of the land, then we know, for certain, that our country is in serious trouble.

      I never thought that a day would come where a citizen’s basic dignity is seriously threatend, as the result of a Supreme Court decision.

      If God’s watching, he must be wincing…noticeably.

          

      • bellavida

        I agree with you….first Citizens United and now this decision.  I feel our country is in serious trouble.  The aforementioned a bigger threat to us as a nation than bin Laden.

    • Anonymous

      It isn’t so bad… they havn’t allowed the police to do virginity tests yet. But give it a year… with the present trajectory they probably will.

  • FAX68

    iOnePoint:
     
    A detention center in Texas is causing an alarming complaint from Illegal Aliens regarding harassments, rapes and tortures

  • Modavations

    All you guys who admit to being Felons should beware Ray from Vt..He’s got a felon site he frequents.No telling what he’ll dig up on you and he won’t care if it’s true or not.At 12:00 the Pres.is to answer the court.You don’t think the Pres. really attended class do you

    • Ray in VT

      This from the guy who seems to know an awful lot about NAMBLA.  Next thing you know you’ll be alleging that I somehow uploaded the image and attached your name to it.  Oh wait, you already did that I believe.

      • Modavations

        Are you telling me you didn’t go to a felon site,find someone with my name and print and show the picture.If you’ve forgotten I’ll give you the date and time.Here’s somnething I know as a 60 year old.Never trust a snitch.

        • Ray in VT

          I’m saying that I Googled “Frederick Douglas Manning” and that is what I found.  Why would I need to “print and show the picture”?  Do you mean link to it, or are you so deluded as to think that I went around to the houses of the people on this site and showed them the picture that I supposedly printed out.

          A snitch is an informer, so are you accusing me of informing on you?

          • Modavations

            A snitch is a snitch is a snitch

          • Modavations

            I googled Frederick D. Manning and nothing comes up!!!

          • Ray in VT

            try “frederick douglas manning”, which you said is your name.  Yeah, that Frederick Douglas.

          • Ray in VT

            and make sure that you do it in quotes.

          • Ellen Dibble

            Ray, whatever you do, don’t ever accuse me of being myself.  That’s plain unethical.  It might not be illegal, but it’s really intrusive.  :>D

          • Modavations

            Intrusive.A lynching of an innocent man is intrusive…Now you know why this Trayvon story drives me nuts.Go to the March 20 story and read the comments.I would never in a million years look you up and I know your name

          • Ray in VT

            I’m pretty sure that you’re actually the chief Prussian Consul to the Kingdom of Siam, not this so called Ellen Dibble.  Who ever heard of such a person?

          • Modavations

            You didn’t google me,you went to a felon site and googled me.

          • Ray in VT

            So I used google from the felon site?  What sense does that make?  I’d never hear of the mugshots site before I googled the name that you provided.

          • Modavations

            I’m not getting through and we all know you’re lying anyways.Again did you google my name,or did you google my name a the MugShot Site

          • Modavations

            I am most certainly accusing you of being a snitch and all you posters should be aware of this guy

          • Ray in VT

            Please tell me about what I have snitched?  Have I exposed some sort of information about you that you wanted to remain hidden?

          • Modavations

            Did you google me,or did you go to Mugshots and google me.This is not a tough question.

    • Robert Riversong

      It’s easy to make unfounded, and patently absurd, allegations against others here when you’re hiding behind anonymity, Frederick D
      Manning of Belmont MA.

      I didn’t have to go to a “felon site” to find your real name, since you posted it yourself on-line and it required only a bit of research.

      • Modavations

        I’m sure you were jailed for violence.I know,I know,you was framed

      • Modavations

        That my felonious friend is my point.I’m in the phone book,I’ve always been in the phone book.As a law abiding citizen I don’t hide.Hide from what.Ray’s a friggin snitch.Instead of looking me up in the phone book,he went to a felon site.Who would go to a felon site in the first place.Whoever heard of a felon site,unless of course,you hang with felons.Now Porn Sites I know!!!

        • Ray in VT

          Who uses a phone book anymore?  I’m at my computer, so I googled it.  It happens tens of millions of times per day around the world, or have you not heard of Google either?

          By your logic, then why do you know about NAMBLA unless that is the sort of person that you know?

          • Modavations

            You googled me or you went to your felon blog and goggled me.Did you read the enjoinder,that is boldly printed saying be careful.The info on this site may not pass the sniff(snitch)test.Do you know what NAMBLA is?Tell the class where and why I used the term

  • Rbarkley

    People I’ve talked to who are in jail say that anything considered to be contraband can be purchased inside.  The guards bring it in.  Smuggling into jails is a cottage industry by which a guard can at least triple his income.

    We have more people in total and per capita incarcerated than any other country.  The police have too much authority and our collective freedoms are eroding. 

  • S.C. Listener

    I am scared for my children’s future. The last twenty something years of warmongering has made this country paranoid. 

    • Brettearle

      There’s truth to what you say.

      But I would broaden the argument:

      9/11; the decline of the economy (and the scapegoating of the underprivileged, as the result); the Catholic Church scandal; and even an increase in population have all contributed to heightened anxiety and suspicion.

      And this dysfunctional mentality is very, very disturbing. 

  • john w. rippetoe jr.

    In keeping with his allegiance to the conservative justices of the supreme court, Rush Limbaugh went on the air in support of the 5 to 4 decision to allow strip searches whenever a jailer felt inclined to administer one (powerless as the justices are to figure out what might be fair in the real world), and Rush was overheard to say: “Listen, I agree completely with this decision. We were doing it at Abu Graeb and it was O.K. over there, so it should be O.K. here at home. And I’d just like to add that since the strip-searches and body-cavity searches are being done with tax-payer dollars, the searches should be recorded so that videos of Americans being strip-searched by cops are available to viewers at home. (P.S. Didn’t Rush get busted for having a wad of Oxycontin secreted up his r-ctum?)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Sad – basically just another tool for the police to take a person doing something perfectly legal (like exercising their constitutional rights or not complying with requests police have no legal standing to make) and make life very hard for them.

  • Modavations

    Mr Reactionary(john of Amherst)let me tell you about Trayvon. On the March 20 show,half the Lefties wanted to hang him,screw a trial.Since then…..
    1.NBC says they doctored their tapes
    2.ABC shows the police video and says see there’s no injury to his head.They then enhance the tape and now say,well I guess Zimmerman was banged up
    3.CNN today says after reviewing the tapes,Zimmerman did not call Trayvon a fu-king coon.

    Mr.Reactionary,go to the March 20 show and read.If you guys had your way Zimmerman would have been lynched and buried.And now you’re worried about strip searches in prison.
    You guys want big Govt.,well Big Brother comes along too

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

      This is why there should have been an actual police investigation, instead of it being fought out in the media.

    • Robert Riversong

      The only consistent reactionary on this site is Modavations (a.k.a. Frederick D Manning of Belmont MA).

      What most thoughtful Americans wanted in regard to the Trayvon Martin killing (regardless of political inclination) was an arrest and a fair trial.

      But extremists on the right tried to indict the victim (Trayvon) in the court of public opinion and defend the shooter’s “right” to self-defense. And, to do that, they had to consistently cherry-pick facts and evidence and use irrational argument, just as you do here.

      If you can’t understand that strip searches for innocent people or those guilty of misdemeanors is NOT an atrocious act of Big Government against We the People, then you truly do have your head on backwards.

      • FAX68

        How did you find out Modavation’s real name?

        • Ray in VT

          He puts out what he says is his real name from time to time.  I’ve seen it here at least three times.

          • FAX68

            Okay… his blog has a virus though.

          • Ray in VT

            Whose blog?  Robert’s?

          • FAX68

            Mod’s Blog

          • Ray in VT

            He has a blog?  That should be a laugh.

          • FAX68

            I am not if it’s his but do not go there

          • Modavations

            I don’t have a blog.I don’t know what a blog is

          • Ray in VT

            Who online doesn’t know what a blog is?  They’ve been around for years.

          • Modavations

            Did you print my name or did someone use your name.

          • FAX68

            It is the real me. why you got scared?

          • Modavations

            Why did you post my name and hometown

          • Modavations

            Why don’t you post my felon sheet again.

          • Ray in VT

            So is that an admission that it is you?

            If you like, then I could provide that link again to mugshots.com.

          • Modavations

            Yes,please do.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, you can click on that link and then search any name that you want.  Go ahead.

          • Modavations

            You do it Yap,Yap.I think you remarkedI’m thin skinned when I freaked

          • FAX68

            LOL!!!

      • Modavations

        Are you posting  from prison.I don’t talk to felons.Too violent

      • Modavations

        From 03/20/2012
        These assholes always get away,Zimmerman says in a phone call to Police Dispatch,during the self appointed neighborhood Watch Captains 911 call.Robert then says  ”It sounds as though Zimmerman is whispering fuckin coons”.Robert repeated this many times during that day

        • Robert Riversong

          Making things up again?

          I’ve never stated anything other than it’s impossible to hear what Zimmerman was whispering under his breath on the 911 call.

          • Modavations

            The first posting was 03/20/2012 at 4;15 Pm.You will find many other posts saying the same thing prior to that.For a felon you should be more cautious about lynching a possibly innocent man

    • RL

       Mr. Modavations,

      even if Trayvon did scuffle with Zimmerman it was Zimmerman who stalked *him* with a gun. The phone calls prove that. Under the FLA law maybe Trayvon had to stand *his* ground.  But I can’t imagine a 140 lb 14 year old kid with a bag of candy and soda, minding his own business  talking to his girl on the phone, out of the blue picking a fight and beating up a 200 lb man with a gun.  I say Zimmerman did this to himself to make it look like he was the victim.

      • Ray in VT

        I would agree with your summing up of the basic facts up to that last sentence.

        • Modavations

          But you’ll call me a felon,without proof.Hypocrite

          • Ray in VT

             Please provide me with the day and time that I called you a felon.  Once again, you are factually challenged.

          • Modavations

            Screw you,

      • Brettearle

        I think Zimmerman’s guilty–but there are no credible witnesses.

        We therefore do not know what happened.

        Martin was 17 years old, not 14.

        It is my understanding that he was an athlete and that he was over 6 feet tall.  Maybe I’m wrong about those two reports.

        If you carry and you are pursuing somebody, you might not draw your gun–until someone turns around and attacks you.

        Where does self-defense begin or end?

        You and I might think Zimmerman’s guilty–but he still might not be.

        I don’t know what actually happened.

        And you don’t know what actually happened.

        • Anonymous

          Well Zimmerman hasn’t exactly proven to be much of an honest person. He’s already lied about being punched around, the film showed him with no marks. I don’t get it, because someone SAYS they killed someone in self-defense, law enforcement basically says to the killer, “That is fine, off you go, have a nice life”? We are being trained to do the bidding of sociopaths. Yes they are few but man they are screwed up. This must really be giving them their jollies watching all this going on over something their incredible excellence decreed! Imagine the power that must be like, all these silly people doing stuff that they set us to do. Whew. That’s power!  Breathtaking power. We’d better wake up now.

        • bellavida

          Fact, Zimmerman was in his car following Martin when he called 911 and was told to stop following Martin and let the police take care of it.  At no point was Zimmerman in trouble.  He was in a flipping car…..are you going to get out of your car and confront someone who might have a gun?  Maybe if you are cognitively challenged. 

      • Ellen Dibble

        I don’t understand the stand your ground law, but I know if I’m being chased around town, pursued even rather slowly, I do try to get away.  I sneak.  I run.  I do whatever I can.  Ditto, apparently, Trayvon.  I get afraid of clumps of five or six large and gangly kids, sort of looking like they’re looking for trouble, no matter whether they’re wearing hoodies or camouflage or whatever.  Sometimes I can make eye contact and stabilize the situation.  Sometimes not.  If I actually get cornered, accosted, I struggle.  If necessary, I can kick someone in the groin.  If they retaliate, I most likely end up victimized.  If I’m a six-foot tall male, I might not be victimized.  Unless the other person had a gun.  It seems in this situation, Trayvon did just what I would have done.  But no, I’m not in a court of law, listening to what 250 years of jurisprudence has determined to be the “credible” evidence.  Repeat, law or no law, I would flee.  I would not feel compelled to stand my ground.  I retreat from danger “all the time.”  Don’t you?  How can they make that illegal?

      • Anonymous

        Actually Trayvon is 6,1 and about 150 or 60 and Zimmerman is about 5,11 and about 180.
        Still you’re right though. Zimmerman should have left well enough alone.

  • Modavations

    All the Lighty in Boston’s Big Dig must now be replaced.

    • Modavations

      lights

    • FAX68

      My name is Frederick D Manning. I was born in 1951. I currently live in Belmont,
      Massachusetts. Before that, I lived in Belmont, MA from 1996 to 2001.

      • Modavations

        Not according to Ray in Vt…Ray says I’m a felon from Georgia and 42 years old.I take it this is a post using Fax68 

        • FAX68

          It is the real FAX68 ala Filipino In Boston.
          you can’t blame Ray because how many do you think has a name like yours out there.

          • Modavations

            Did you make that post using my name and date of birth….The one that says Today 12:57…..If so,why?

          • Modavations

            The picture Ray of Vt. posted of me as a felon says I’m 42.If that is you(I’m a bit dismayed if iit was you)who posted my name and age above,don’t you think Ray of Vt. could just as easily found my info.He just wanted to lynch me.

          • Ray in VT

            You think far too highly of yourself.  I wouldn’t bother trying to destroy your reputation even if you had a good one here.  You’re just not worth it.

          • Modavations

            I asked you twenty times to talk with someone else,but here you are Yap,Yap,Yap.You sure spend a lot of time chasing a lout.

          • Ray in VT

             Also, I didn’t post any picture.  I linked to a site.  Someone else posted it there.

          • Modavations

            Excuses,excuses.Just another creep without taste,without class

          • FAX68

            He puts out what he says is his real name from time to time.  I’ve seen it here at least three times. show more show less

            A Like
            Reply Today 12:57 PM in reply to FAX68 1 Like F

          • FAX68

            Ray’s comment on 12:57

          • Modavations

            How many people go to such a site and how many people would then turn around and post an unsubstantiated claim.Go back to the Philipines you’ve learned nothing of America

          • Ray in VT

            For shame.  Fax68 says that he is gainfully employed, and all of the immigrants who I have met from the Philippines have been quite nice.  He should be welcome here just like every other legal immigrant.

      • FAX68

        Did you actually posted on line if you did you have to DELETE them. you are giving info to your best friends on On Point especially Jeff68, Ray and the one who got your name Riversong

        • Modavations

          Delete what?Those guys are poofs,Riversong however,does worry me.Very violent fellow,I’m not surprised he’s in prison.For the third time,why did you print that information about me.

          • Ray in VT

            Please give me your definition of “poofs” so that I may know if, or how, you have insulted me.

  • C Crompton

    I was arrested for an act of peaceful civil obedience after the sentencing of climate activist Tim De Christopher.  After being taken to jail I witnessed unnecessary bullying and unpleasant treatment: a man with prostate problems was denied the use of a restroom and forced to urinate on the floor of the holding room filled with people. One- by -one women and men were taken into semi-private areas and “searched”.  My bra was pulled up and turned inside out, my underpants were turned inside out while my crotch was patted down etc.  Is the court sanctioning bullying that already exists?  We might wake up to the treatment of all “prisoners”?  Are the justices creating a way to silence protests?  
    Thank you for calling necessary attention to this decision.
    CC in SLC
    May I suggest a future show on the mugshot issue.  All jailed are featured on Google with no real clarification on infraction.

    • Ellen Dibble

      In the vein of devil’s advocacy, your post reminds me of what I was told when I started out doing afterschool volunteering in a public housing community:  A lot of these children do not have respect for authority.  Their parents do not demand it of them, or have not earned it.  So we can’t take it for granted that they know the appropriateness of compliance, of “behaving.”  They don’t appreciate direction.  

      So, you would think that we’d become harsh disciplinarians ourselves, and bully the children into some sort of control, to the extent necessary.  That was not the goal.  Instead there was more than the usual explaining, more than the usual degree of required patience.       But I’m thinking that the school system is square one for maintaining order and discipline, or maybe square two after the home and family.  If the correctional officers reflect that precedent, why am I not surprised…

  • Dave

    This seems more like an issue that he was actually innocent to begin with rather than an issue of the strip search. Would this be an issue if he had been guilty? Do you normally go to jail for minor offences like not using your turning indicator?

    • Brettearle

      I’ll bet that in some cases, citizens are arrested for minor offenses–and they are, in some of these cases, offenses for which they are innocent.

      I’ll bet that kind of police action goes on almost every day, in our country.

      But now, in such cases, once you are arrested, you are now much more subject to a strip search–as the result of the Supreme Court decision.

      • Ellen Dibble

        Are you sure the decision makes us “much more subject to a strip search”?  It seems to me the decision more preserves the status quo, with some significant benefit, due to the publicity of the decision, due to increased public awareness that strip searches are not benign, and often not necessary, and that this is a realm where law enforcement can get out of bounds. 

    • notafeminista

      No.

  • Anonymous

    I would love a little kharma to come back and bite Thomas or Kennedy by being forced to endure the indignity of a strip search by some pissant jailer who just decided he was in the mood to dish some attitude that particular day.

    Justices are not, after all, immune from being subject to their own decisions… even though I’m sure they feel they are.

    • Anonymous

      Surely we can’t keep thinking these judges are wise. What wisdom is required to decide that a corporation has the same rights as a person?  If they are going to make a judgement as bizarre as that, then how can we think anything that comes out of them is credible?

  • Perkdiggity2009

    This ruling completely supports my fear that this country is becoming a police state. I am horrified that all sense of scope has been thrown out the window. Failure to pay a traffic ticket does not indicate that someone is riding around with an AK47 and a kilo of coke in their behind. As Franklin said ‘Those who would give up liberty for security deserve neither.” 

    • notafeminista

      Give up your Social Security and Medicare then.

      • Anonymous

        What on earth do you think SS and Medicare have to do with this? 

  • William

    A bad decision. I don’t know why the police like to push the limits of dignity with respect to people that are innocent until proven guilty.

  • Anonymous

    I love my country but I fear my government. These cops are EVIL. The Supreme Court is deluded. Where do we go from here?  I want to find a country where sanity prevails. From the [Anti-] Patriot Act (which declared Martial Law) to this… I am in HORROR!

  • FAX68

    Mister Modavation you have to blame yourself for putting your info on line. Everyone on the planet can just google your name and all your info will come out. Philippines is 51st State you just don’t know that yet. So. I am staying if do leave i need $6,000 refund from the INS.

    • Modavations

      Mr Fax68 in America we would not look people up and we wouldn’t print said info.I think you’d be better off in Cambodia where these Pol Pot tactics are revered.You never answered my question as to why you posted the info?

      • FAX68

        Hey tell that to Ray and Robert Riversong. I wouldn’t even know your real name if wasn’t for them. Just delete the info on your Blog or should I also find your info on LinkedIn.
         
        I didn’t post your real name “once in awhile” on On Point you did it yourself my friend. no harm done you just rather watch out with Riversong I bet he knows something about you. okay Alligator? Just take a drive with your rice rocket and have some fresh air and release it. PEACE…. Mabuhay Ka Sir Modavations

        • Modavations

          Did you or didn’t you post my name and address.What was the purpose and what the hell is this blog stuff.I have no blog

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            hey, you should have keep quiet if the info was real. I would. sorry about that.

          • Modavations

            No sweat.You know I’m always looking out for you.I don’t like your politics all the time,but I can’t stand the bullies that screw with you

      • Ray in VT

        People would never google other people?  What America do you live in?  Didn’t you say that you tried to find me on Youtube or something?  I can give you my boss’s email address any time that you want to try to get me fired from my job.

        • Modavations

          Sorry Yap,yap.I meant gentlemen,gentlewomen.Give me your bosses e-mail.I’d love to have a chat.Give me your dad’s # too.I’m sure he’d be real proud of his snitch son

          • Ray in VT

            Buzz buzz.  What did you say?  His name is William Doyle, and you can reach him at billydoyle@hotmail.com.  Let me know what he says.  I’d be really interested to know.  You want me dad’s number, then look it up in the phone book.  Also, I need my house painted, is your dad still painting?

          • Modavations

            I just e mailed him.If he answers I’ll report back.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

          RAY!!! you did Google him and you posted it.

          • Ray in VT

            I did google him, and I did link to the site.  If you want to call that posting, then yes, I posted a link to the site that came up.  I do not believe that I said that it was him, however.

          • Modavations

            Did you google me or did you go to a felon website and google me.

          • Anonymous

            Sorry Ray, you are in the wrong here. I’m not a fan of Moda or Manning or whom ever he is. But I would never, and I mean never do such a thing. It’s just not a nice thing to do. There is a huge difference in calling the chap an idiot or even worse. But these are just emotional reactions and kind of silly in the long and tall of it.

          • Ray in VT

            Also, I believe that he has accused me of somehow posting that picture to that particular website and attaching the name to it.  Now there’s some real paranoia.

          • Modavations

            Your lying again.You said go to Mugshots.com and you’ll see Frederick D. Manning a felon.I did and I did.What sort of person would do such a thing?A malicious,immature 30 year old,that’s who

  • JC

    I am slightly shocked by all the negative reaction to this ruling. I personally have been through this procedure once, for a minor offense, and I think almost anyone who has see the inside of such institutions would argue in favor of the procedure in order to protect not only the personnel, but the inmates as well. Furthermore, as your commentator explains, here the court is not prescribing policy, but simply saying that there may be some particular institutions or regions where officials may be required to institute such a procedure to protect the institution. If strip searches were unconstitutional, I can guarantee that certain jails and prisons (not all) will become even more dangerous then they are now. I curiously didn’t hear from any callers about protecting the lives of the many COs and prisoners killed in prison violence, but only about there own disgust at being inconvenienced.

    • Marybeth

      Thank you, voice of reason.

    • Bob

      There is a reaction from the invasion of privacy, but the real reaction is the Constitutional failure; one completely lost in the highest court of the most powerful democracy ever. 

  • Cime

    New World Order! A giant policed state we will become! Like it or hate it! I think it’s in the making!

    • Anonymous

      They’ve taken the dignity out of our work, the dignity out of our financial status and now our deepest human dignity. Not much left. Unless we form a tsunami.

  • http://twitter.com/tw00wt biggiesmalls

    look Orin, i think YOU need to stopped and searched THEN please tell me if you still think the constitution, as the people TODAY feel, if the constitution’s SOLE purpose is to make people feel safe and secure…better go back to (high) school civics class and ask your civics teacher exactly what the INTENDED purpose for the constitution was. better yet, maybe you should ask Ron Paul..he might have a better answer.

  • Dseed

    I haven’t read the opinions but would like to know whether the majority at least uttered guidance through dicta. They have often, in the past, said something that would echo your guests, stating the limitations of what they can rule upon as a matter of constitutional law, but strongly enjoining States to take the issues on, as here to examine the safeguards their arrest and jail procedures and training of correctional officers provide.

    As much as anything, the tone we think the Court is taking in decisions like this and Citizens United can make a huge difference in the respect the Court receives and the result of the decision. Typical legal history, as your guests mentioned, entails the Court saying it can’t do something and Congress or State legislators taking it on. Do we have the impression that they say they can’t reluctantly or triumphally? It may not matter if they’re clearly failing to or unable to fulfil a unified commonsense view - but here, they’re speaking to an already highly polarized country, and chilling effect or the sense that something should and could be done could be the alternative results of tone.

    That is – is the Supreme Court saying “just try to protect individual liberty, we’ll smother every effort,” or “we regret that we cannot respond to this instance, please find a way to deal with it.” It took Civil Rights nearly a century to get past the ambience represented by the first statement.

    • Anonymous

      No, they did not. That’s why it’s so vile and reprehensible.

  • Michele

    Just because you can justify something doesn’t make it right or moral.  The Nazis justified many things…

  • GMG

    I think this is may be the result of politicians cashing in on get-tough rhetoric.  
    When people talk about giving extraordinary rights to prison “officials”, I think we should keep in mind that they are employees of private companies, and that we are granting extraordinary rights to corporate entities, not to government officials.

    Between plea bargains and on-the-spot punishment, it seems to me the checks and balances designed into the legal system have been abolished in practice. 

  • Ch H

    Dear God. What’s left for the fourth amendment to protect?

    Time was when they took your shoe laces and belt and called it a day. Why, I was in jail once for civil disobedience & they failed to take the nuns’ pantyhose! Very slack security.

    Like voter “protection” acts, this law addresses a nonexistent problem. I’m not aware of anybody anywhere going to the trouble of impersonation for the sake of voting.
    Likewise, I’ve never heard of any jail anywhere that was rendered dangerous for want of strip-searching every single arrestee.

    Increasingly invasive airport searches have worked to condition the population to the idea of search and surveillance in the name of “security.” And of course that mentality has jumped over to police work.

    Maybe this ruling will finally get to the people who put up with all of it because they’re sure that THEY will never get caught in the web. Now EVERBODY can get caught in a web that’s outrageously open to abuse. Since when does a traffic ticket land you in jail? Since right this very moment.

    • notafeminista

      Since we’re operating in the anecdotal realm, how many people do you know working in corrections?  Specifically those who work in jails and prisons?

      • Ch H

        I know only those I’ve met myself in the course of demonstrations, traffic stops, after being mugged, & volunteer prison work (pastoral). I don’t have any personal issue with police officers or prison workers. I take people as I meet them.

        I’m not saying that nobody should ever be searched, or that no arrested person can pose a threat to general safety. I’m only saying that in order to ensure safety, it’s not necessary to strip search people without probable cause.

        As to incidents of voter fraud or jail violence, I only mean that in the course of a fairly well informed life, I’ve never heard it reported that the latter has happened because of a failure to search people *without cause*.

        I care as much about the lives and safety of police officers and prison workers as I do about the people they have control over. Strip searching people at random isn’t going to bring a good result for anybody.

        • notafeminista

          It’s not at random.  No one is going to be stopped on the street and strip searched at the side of the road.  If someone is arrested (which also cannot happen without probable cause) and transported to a detention facility to await adjudication of their case, they can be strip searched at that time.  The opinion (even the bit just posted by OnPoint at the top of the page) is very clear “…jails are not made less secure by what reason of what new detainees may carry in on their bodies.”

          It seems like ensuring the safety of the corrections officers as well as the other detainees should be cause enough.

          • 4thamendment

            It is not, however, probable cause.  Being arrested for an unpaid fine is not probable cause to suggest that someone is carrying contraband.  Protesting an unjust law in public is not probable cause to suspect that either, and yet either one could cause someone to be be made insecure in their Person and Things without reasonable suspicion.  

            How safe do you feel, as a citizen, knowing the 4th Amendment is being treated as toilet paper?  Talk to anyone who has grown up under a government like the one ours is becoming.  In the end, the prisons are not much safer, and as the government grows more authoritarian with no accountability, it becomes difficult to tell prison from freedom.

          • notafeminista

            No you’re right.  The detainee committed an act giving the officer probable cause to stop him, – which then leads to the discovery of the unpaid fine (also known as a warrant and given for much more heinous acts in additon to  ”forgetting” to pay a speeding ticket).

            Protesting an unjust law in public is not probable cause, failing to get the required municipal permit is.

          • Anonymous

            don’t you get it? There was NO probable cause to arrest this guy at all.

          • Ch H

            The police brought in the original complainant in the Supreme Court case because of unpaid traffic tickets (which in fact had been paid). He was strip search twice. Five of the justices found the searches acceptable, or they wouldn’t have voted in the direction they did.

            This scares me because my city is notorious for the incompetence with which it enforces traffic laws, collects fines, and insists on repayments for “uncollected” fines. I went around for a year just like the complainant, having paid a fine that the city didn’t register.

            That’s part one. Now part two: In the last few years, three officers in our city were tried and convicted (thank God) for doing exactly what you say can’t happen—strip searching women in the woods off the freeway, and outright attempted rape. The “wall of silence” made it like pulling teeth to get these cases to court.

            So don’t tell me that I can rely on the police to protect *me*. I shudder to think what guys like this might get up to given the right to strip search anybody out of the public eye.

            In my city, I’d like to know that the police are protecting the public, not taking a proactive paranoid view of it.

            I’ll gladly ready your reply, but I have to withdraw from more correspondence now.

  • Ch H

    P.S. Are you thinking twice about showing up at your local OWS site? Or rallying in opposition to this Court decision? The decision doesn’t create a chilling effect on the exercise of first amendment rights. It creates a deep freeze.

  • twenty-niner

    The outrage over this decision seems to be justified, but why does Obama get a pass? This from the LA Times:

    Obama: A disaster for civil liberties
    He may prove the most disastrous president in our history in terms of civil liberties.Could it be that Obama is “my guy”?I feel a song coming on:Nothing you could say
    Can tear me away from my guy
    Nothing you could do
    ‘Cause I’m stuck like glue to my guy

    I’m stickin’ to my guy
    Like a stamp to a letter
    Like the birds of a feather
    We stick together
    I’m tellin’ you from the start
    I can’t be torn apart from my guy

    Nothing you can do
    Could make me untrue to my guy
    Nothing you could buy
    Could make me tell a lie to my guy

    I gave my guy my word of honor
    To be faithful and I’m gonna
    You best be believing
    I won’t be deceiving my guy

    As a matter of opinion I think he’s tops
    My opinion is he’s the cream of the crop
    As a matter of taste to be exact
    He’s my ideal as a matter of facthttp://articles.latimes.com/2011/sep/29/opinion/la-oe-turley-civil-liberties-20110929 

  • Cristeach

    It’s time for the Supreme Court Justices to imagine themselves at the hands of their decisions.  Bend and stretch, reach for the, uh, lift your robes in a strip-search?  Hmmnnn . . . 

    • Anonymous

      And do it on camera!

  • Modavations

    Let me try this for the twentieth time.Did you google Frederick D. Manning and find a felon,or did you go to a felon site and Google Frederick D. Manning.

  • Anonymous

    The church’s jig is up so all the perverts flock to work at the TSA or a law enforcement agency. Candy! Candy!

  • Anonymous

    It’s easy to tell which judges should be chucked out of the Supreme Court. Which ones voted for Citizen’s United?  That is a good sign of revealing the sociopathic characteristics of each individual. That decision has got all the stench of it. They should be kicked out, and banished. It is them who should be restrained in pens.

  • aj

    Its a stupid ruling, but the search really is not so bad ya’ll. There are alot worse experiences than having some perv get his jollies watching me grab my scrodum and grabbing my ankles.

    Hear about this one…

    -via Reuters

    (Athens the cradle of democracy)

    ……On Wednesday(5 April) the 77-year-old retired pharmacist staged his final act of defiance. Christoulas went to the city’s main Syntagma Square and shot himself in the head outside parliament.

    In a suicide note Christoulas, a leftist, said his age prevented him from taking “dynamic” action.

    “I cannot find any other form of struggle except a dignified end before I have to start scrounging for food from the rubbish,” he wrote, adding that one day young Greeks would take up arms and hang the national traitors upside down in Syntagma Square.

    Police have reported at least four people have tried to kill themselves because of financial troubles this week but the case of Christoulas particularly shocked the nation.

    “My father’s handwritten note leaves no room for misinterpretation. His whole life was spent as a leftist fighter, a selfless visionary,” his only daughter, Emy Christoula, 43, said in a statement.

    “This final act was a conscious political act, entirely consistent with what he believed and did in his life.”……………….

    To the martyrs,

    Nedā Āghā-Soltān, Mohamed Bouazizi, Trayvon Martin,Dimitris Christoulas

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/38/Th%C3%ADch_Qu%E1%BA%A3ng_%C4%90%E1%BB%A9c_self-immolation.jpg

    • Anonymous

      The world bank always pushes for  cuts to the general population’s income, whether low paid government employees, pensions or the minimum wage.  The rich, just like in our country, don’t get hurt. No recommendations that their taxes be raised. Just heard recently a story on NPR about the austerity budget in Ireland, which is causing the economy to collapse and terrible hardships. The Greek problem is far more the rich being allowed to evade taxes than the government employees being overpaid.  The same thing is happening here.  The highest paid, whether government or private sector, are being given a pass while the rank and file employees are getting attacked.  It is happening all over.  Jacksonville, Fl just gave a huge bonus to the pension system head, $40,000 a year, at the same time the pension is supposedly in such bad shape that it cannot cover its promises and the rank and file employees are taking a big hit.  Guess what guys, the man getting the big raise was not doing his job; if he was, the problems in the system would have been exposed years ago. The same thing with the private sector: head of company runs company into ground. gets huge golden parachute. Employees get laid off  and lose everything.  USA Today is most recent example. 

  • Anonymous

    I’m feeling prolific tonight…
    Hey Tom, I’ve been looking for an article on your site about climate change and nothing at all on the entire home page. The most serious, no, I should say grave, issue that humankind has ever faced, and nothing Tom could I find. So I’ll put this here even though it is unrelated to strip searches.

    Imagine this: wouldn’t it be poetic justice if Texas – the state of the oil people – became the first state in America that will be  designated “uninhabitable” due to global warming? 

  • Pingback: NPR’s “On Point” Discussing the Strip Search Case, Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders - I Hate Paypal » I Hate Paypal

  • Bubblebuster

    This is so offensive, and forgetting the Supreme Court for a moment, I would like to know WHO IN THE GOVERNMENT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR DECISION TO PURSUE THIS IN COURT? This is what the voters should know so they can make sure they get the boot.

  • Linda

    Why can people even be arrested for such minor offenses?  And why would people who are arrested in such cases be carrying contraband inside their bodies?  These peple are thinking every day they had better hide drugs or weapons in body cavities just in case they are taken to jail for forgetting to use their turn signal?

    • aj

      lol

    • Despot

      And why are there so many minor offenses?

      • Bob

        Missing the point, completely.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1335150115 Ben Boer

    The Supreme Court of The United States is on the road to completely delegitimizing itself with partisan 5-4 decisions like this. The impartial, unelected branch of government is becoming a partial, elected branch… Sure, they’re still appointed by the President, but their consistent partisanship of justices is going to prevent the appointing(or even the existence) of swing vote justices.

  • Ursu

    I would like if this story had moved beyond justifiable outrage to discussing how we as citizens might take action. If the Court says that this is OK, when a suspect to be searched when moved into the general prison population, can’t we ask our lawmakers to make a law that says that it is not OK to take people with minor offenses and put them into a prison population? We’re focused on the wrong thing here, and as citizens, we must push our representatives to deal with this. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MGTFS6SN7X4YW5LEDSDIQDV7IE vader

    Is this not a case of the government ”forcing the citizen to act”? so what is the problem with the individual mandate?

    a larger problem is that local judicial and executive systems(i.e. police) are often too biased to be trusted. simple solution, The whole process should be recorded (both video & audio) and a copies given to all parties involved. that way the bias and profiling can be studied, quantified and dealt with.

  • 1mcitizenX

    Does this bypass due process ? Does this no amount to illeagal search and siezure ? What about the privatization of the correctional system, this is not the goerment performing these searches.

  • Despot

    Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We *want* them broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against– then you’ll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We’re after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you’d better get wise to it. There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Rearden, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with. Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Ch. III, “White Blackmail” on law abiding citizens p.411,  Signet Books, NY, 1957

    • Anonymous

      The only time I have ever regularly broken the law, except for very occasional speeding, was in drinking alcohol before 21.  Do they really think that adults under age 21 are sitting at home unable to have a social life because they cannot enter a drinking estabilishment? 

  • Libertarian

    There would be fewer “minor offenses” if we tested all laws to see if they met the Libertarian Principle:
    People should be free to do whatever they want, except to initiate force, the threat of force, or fraud against other people or their property.

    • Anonymous

      I believe much of libertarian policies are baloney, but would get rid of drug laws and similar attacks on liberty.

  • Julie

    This raises all kinds of sexual harassment issues. 

  • Bikewer

    Tom keeps saying these people are being arrested for these minor offenses. Almost always they are not. They are being arrested because they did not appear in court for the original offense.

    A magistrate then issues a warrant for “failure to appear” and required to make bond.

    • Anonymous

      This man, according to reports, was carrying a letter verifying that the fine had been paid.  And, instead of straightening out the matter imediately, he was  transfered from jail to jail.  Think of the government money wasted when the law inforcement officials could have just made a simple phone call.  This could happen to any of us.  People get stopped all the time here for not having a valid licence, when they had no idea there was a problem.  Courts here regularly have been foreclosing on houses when there had been no notification of the homeowner.  Judges are not being careful at all. 

    • JGC

      “Making the bond” is also part of the problem.  There is now an enormous shadow industry for the process of justice in the U.S. This includes the private jail systems which are listed on Wall Street for the rest of us “law-abiding citizens” to invest in, and yet these companies generate great costs which must be borne by the local taxpayer;  the bondsmen must also be paid, and at usury rates, whether or not you are pulled in on false pretenses; they both have their lobbyist advocates repackaging our laws to their personal financial benefit.

      I am from the Kids for Cash state, the great state of Pennsylvania.  We see where the emphasis on private law enforcement and private punishment is taking us.  Would you want to entrust a privately employed, Wall Street profit-generating jailer to make this decision: does  your son or daughter or mother need to be strip-searched as they are hauled in for the equivalent of 10 mph over the speed limit, or for having a noisy muffler, or failing to engage their turn signal?       

  • Cataline

     Being a US citizen doesn’t offer the rights it once did.  My high school Latin teacher emphasized that the founding fathers were to some extent modeling the nation on the Roman Republic, and  how in the days of the Roman Republic and the early empire, “Ego sum Romanum” (“I am a Roman citizen”) really meant something.  It offered you the protection of the Roman state against foreign and domestic powers.  St. Paul understood this when he informed the local Romans officials in Judea that they had imprisoned and mistreated him, a Roman citizen.  But even before the guards knew he as a Roman, I don’t think St. Paul had to submit to a cavity search.

    • notafeminista

      Why should being a US citizen offer anything more than any other citizen.  There is nothing special or exceptional about the US.

  • Wm. James from Missouri

    Outrageous ! This is so typical of these right wing nut jobs. America is evolving into a spiritually sick society. Hey I’ve got an idea, why not arrest the people behind the National Security Agencies new spy center in Bluffdale Utah. People like G. Bush and Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah. Maybe the sicko onlookers will find a message that people like this have been hiding from the American people, by looking up their backside !

    By the way: Shame on you President Obama for allowing the free American peoples government to listen in on every thing you email or say on the telephone ! We are a free people ! Who knows. Maybe the American people will strip search the souls of ALL OF YOU !

  • Circusmcgurkus

    To the extent that any human being can believe that it is “conservative” to allow government agents to rob one of dignity, to humiliate an individual and to order anyone to squat and cough without any stated reason needs to review the term “conservative”.  That’s not conservative, it is barbaric.  It is authoritarian and repulsive to every thing that the Framers intended.  It is a national disgrace. 

    The poise and dignity of Mr. Florence and his courage to come forward and relive what he had to go through (when he and his wife were NEVER told why the car in which he was a passenger was even stopped!) on a national level demands respect and applause from all who believe in a free and fair democratic society.  All should remember that in this case the warrant records and the police were mistaken – the “outstanding warrant” (for a fine!) was in error as Mr. Florence had no outstanding matters with the court.

    If the justices believed for a single second that they, too, could be subject to this type of humiliation, there is not a chance that they would uphold this practice.  The problem is that legislators and judges do not believe that they would ever be subjected to a strip search or any other of the inhuman practices routinely conducted in jails across this nation and that they are somehow above or different from the regular citizen.

    To be conservative, especially in interpreting the Constitution (and progressives CAN BE conservative readers of the Constitution whole still holding progressive ideals for legislation), means to stay close to the text.  Even the questionable thought of going to the meaning of the text at the time it was written could not possibly result in the belief that James Madison or any of his compatriots would find it reasonable for the authorities to strip search an individual who was stopped for no known reason and falsely arrested on a court error when the members of society did not even strip naked to bathe at that time.  This kind of humiliation was rendered to slaves on the block – a practice so repulsive and so inhuman that we still cannot face that portion of our history with any kind of truth of what really happened right here in this democratic nation.  Because we cannot face that history honestly, we are now repeating it behind closed, barred doors.  There is not a chance that the Framers would believe that the state had the authority to order a citizen to strip naked and then search him or her – it would be unthinkable.  It still is.

    Regardless of whether one is “blue” or “red” – this is bruising.

    • guest

      Conservative = authoritarian. The republican party is well on its way to becoming the Nazi party.

      Less privacy and less freedom makes us safer, right?

  • twenty-niner

    Turns out you don’t even have to get arrested to be humiliated, just trying to visit the grand kids will do the trick.

  • Pingback: NPR’s “On Point” Discussing the Strip Search Case, Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders | FavStocks

  • Anonymous

    I’m not sure why it’s so, but it’s unfortunate and disappointing that the forum managers care so little about their product that they allow dozens of posts that would be unacceptable by any minimal set of standards to remain on the page. Off-topic posts, ad hominem attacks, childish sniping, posting personal information, and other assorted nonsense should all be immediately removed. 

    Repeated violators should be permanently blocked. It’s becoming harder and harder to wade through the piles of puerile droppings to find things worth reading.

    • twenty-niner

      Dear forum moderators, 

      One thing that the internet makes clear is that there is way too much free speech out there, and its getting harder and harder to read posts that reinforce my views. Challenging preconceived notions makes monkey mad, and when monkey mad, monkey bang keyboard hard, and then sometimes keyboard no longer work good.

      • Ray in VT

        As one of yesterday’s top offenders to whom nj_v2 is referring, I don’t think that he(?) is interested in limiting free speech, but, rather, in better debate.  Sorry NJ and others.  Once things got going I just couldn’t help myself.  Moda just rubs me the wrong way, and I really can’t stand his bull.

        • twenty-niner

          Slippery slope…

          First they limited Moda, then they limited Ray, then they limited me.

          • Ray in VT

            We should be able to police ourselves.  We are all adults here, right?

          • Anonymous

            Apparently not.

          • Anonymous

            Everyone should be limited. Certain behavior should not be tolerated.

            We all have to drive on the right, stop at stop signs…

          • twenty-niner

            Except in the UK.

            It’s just a blog, no life and death situations here.

          • Anonymous

            It’s not a blog.

            So, any behavior not involving “life or death situations” should not be moderated?

      • Anonymous

        Your poorly executed, simple-minded sarcasm misses a number of points.

        “Free speech” is not particularly relevant. Forum sponsors have the prerogative to implement whatever rules they see fit for those who participate in the forum. Since these aren’t government entities, the First Amendment doesn’t apply. If one doesn’t like the rules, one doesn’t have to participate, or one can go start one’s own forum.

        Personal attacks, stalking, slander, etc. have nothing to do with “challenging preconceived notions,” hence that lame rationalization doesn’t apply.

        When forum hosts punt on responsibly managing their site, the garbage that was posted earlier on this thread is as much a reflection on them as on those who posted it.

        • twenty-niner

          “Your poorly executed, simple-minded sarcasm misses a number of points.”
          Monkeys typing always makes me laugh.

          Lighten up. It’s Friday.

          • Brett

            “Monkeys typing always makes me laugh.”

            They make me laugh too! E.g., you typed your comment and I laughed; ergo

  • Anonymous

    I don’t understand why the moderator of this show did not know that the arrest itself was questionable.  The man was carrying a statement that the fine had been paid.  Even then, rather than verifying this, he was arrested and transfered twice before charges were dropped.  He should not have been in jail at all

    • guest

      Totally agree.

      But of course, the cops don’t care. They’re like the SS — just doing their jobs. Demeaning others seems to a perk of the job.

      Good luck holding police responsible for their perpetual abuse of power. You can have video evidence of them violating the law, and they *might* get a paid vacation, if the case is ever heard.

  • David

    Shame on On Point and most of the media for failing to point out that the Department of Justice agreed with this decision.  Why is the left (which I consider myself part of) afraid to criticize our own wrong policies?

    • Anonymous

      The majority of Democrats are not the “left.”

      Obama apologists are not the “left.”

      Any actual leftists or leftish ideas are mostly marginalized, mischaracterized, or ignored in most media outlets.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much for the link to the decision.

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  • Ted.

    12 of the 15 supreme court justices were appointed during republican administrations.  If FDR was in charge, you would see more democratic justices being added, so that this type of tyranny could never occur.  Obama is a wuss.

  • Anonymous

    The point of the matter is that what the court is basically saying, is that if a law enforcement agency would like to violate your fourth amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizures, all they need to do is to take you to a prison whose entry requirements require rigid search and seizure protocols (because their entry requirements now trump your constitutional rights) – EGADS
     http://wordsofwhizdumb.com/2012/04/supreme-court-has-become-strip-club.html

  • God

    Thanks to Florence (an African American family man who is gainfully employed) vs. The County of Burlington (New Jersey, of all places–next to New York), the supreme court mostly appointed (12 of the 15 judges) during republican administrations, in a close 5 to 4 decision has made it legal for our 4th Amendment rights to reasonable search and seizure under the US Constitution to be violated:  Now if you are detained for any offense, no matter how minor, you may be given a thorough, cavity strip-search.  This includes having to cough while squatting and spreading your buttock to expose your anus, as well as lifting up your genitalia while being observed ether alone or with a group of other detainees.  Thus, if you are detained by the police for such offenses as:  Not using your car’s turn signal while driving, riding a bicycle without a bell, even jaywalking–you may be forced to be strip searched by the police.This is a crime.  There will be more law suits and protests because of this stupidity.  This type of demeaning treatment may happen to anyone now–not just murderers, and other convicts.

  • Bin

    What else do you expect from a court appointed courtesy of the corporate cleptocracy ???

  • Bin

    The callers who are saying “we need a legislative solution”… what fools!!! Our elected “legislators” are bending over legislating to promote the interests of the bankers and corporate overlords. Do you think they care about dignity and your rights?

  • Anonymous

    Add to the reading list:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/apr/05/us-sexual-humiliation-political-control/print

    How the US uses sexual humiliation as a political tool to control the masses

    “In a five-four ruling this week, the supreme court decided that anyone can be strip-searched upon arrest for any offense, however minor, at any time. This horror show ruling joins two recent horror show laws: the NDAA, which lets anyone be arrested forever at any time, and HR 347, the “trespass bill”, which gives you a 10-year sentence for protesting anywhere near someone with secret service protection. These criminalizations of being human follow, of course, the mini-uprising of the Occupy movement.”

    [snipped]

  • Portlandt

    I am not someone who often makes hyperbolic claims, but this ruling literally makes me sick to my stomach. I don’t understand the county we are becoming. This is one more step in the endless march toward hell. And perhaps the republican appointed members of the court are just trying to prove how awful “the government” is so they can argue against it’s proper funding and administration.  I’m reminded of the cliche: Democrats think that government can solve every problem whereas republicans think it can solve none and get elected and prove it!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/OT5HT65ODQH6ZKE3C43RCENZKY Gilbert

    This rule has to be overturned.  Washington wants a fight with the general population of the US.  This is almost 12 years now where US citizens are having their lives destroyed by their very own government.  Yet no one riots.  No one does anything.  They just keep going to work despite falling incomes and falling property values and investments.  No one does anything!  At least in France they riot in the streets at even a mention of lowering the retirement age.  I have given up on trying to be a proud American citizen.  This is not home of the brave anymore. This is home of the scared and pathetic.  Americans have nothing to lose if they fight back.  This is their country.  Stop letting ignorant politicians control your life.  I am a former military serviceman and there is no way in hell I would support these idiotic laws.  You don’t want to live in a police state.  That is what the people who founded this country were fighting to get away from.

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  • Dan Cooper

    I don’t understand why the news media are so interested in this but have maintained absolute silence about the President’s signing of a law approving lifetime imprisonment without trial.  Perhaps it is because the Supreme Court are not running for re-election this year on the Democrat ticket.

    • Wm. James from Missouri

      America and American rights are being disassembled on a regular basis, on so many levels, aren‘t they ? It is starting to look like we won’t be a country within 50 years. I am beginning to think that we will be a confederacy of corporate controlled “areas of influence”. Many of these corporations will be international in scope, completely un- American. Both of the major parties have deluded themselves with their opportunistic thinking an trashed any moral purpose they may have been able to claim in the past. I keep hoping that the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation will start to challenge these monsters. They should start with the NSA’s project ( in Utah) that will allow unbridled spying on ALL U.S. citizens.

  • Anonymous
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  • Capfox1701

    WOW, I can’t believe how most of you are responding. I know most of you will say that I’m an idiot or something low brow but try and understand what I’m about to write. I’m a Corrections Officer (or Jailer to others). I’ve worked in a jail for 15 of my 19 year career. I now instruct trainees at our academy. Even thought the Supreme Court ruled strip searches are legal, many states have laws limiting strip searches to felony charges only (grand theft, murder, rape, ect.) or if the person might be suicidal. Florida is one of those states. Misdemeanors are not strip searched. But in my belief everyone should be. Why? Unless you work in a jail setting where you are processing 300 to 400 hundred inmates a day (Dade county is that busy, sometime it’s worst) you would be hard pressed to understand. Jail is not what TV portrays. “Reality” jail shows never show the whole truth and the news rarely tells the whole story. Safety of the Officers and other inmates is our prime responsibility. A jail is a difficult place to work. I personally want myself and my work partners to go home every day. I guess the best way to end this is with this incident that happened (not once) while booking a new arrest on a misdemeanor charge. The Officer brought a new arrest on a drug misdemeanor charge. All that is required is a simple pat down. Before being brought in the arresting officer is required to perform a pat down. Our policy is to also pat down any arrestees upon entering our jails. While we had the arrestee facing a table an officer stands behind the arrestees and we ask if they have anything on their person we should know about before we pat them down. This person said yes. When we asked what it was he said told us it was a gun. The incident ended with no violence or use of force by the inmate or the Officers but we had to quickly re-handcuff him and strip him down to get the gun. The inmate didn’t resist and cooperated fully. The gun was a small .22cal hidden under his crouch. Why it was hidden there is up to speculation but as a veteran Officer I’ll just say the arresting Officer got lucky and so did we. Just imagine if that gun got deeper into the jail and who it was more than likely to be used on. I know that some of you will read this story and tear it apart but to save time I left out some details like procedures and how we conduct pat downs or if we would have found the gun during the pat down (we would have). So unless you work in a jail and understand why they ruled the way they ruled, please do SOME research before you say that this great land of ours is becoming a police state. Thank you for your time.       

    • Chess

      You must be smart enough to be able to reason through some other alternatives!
      Your world has become skewed. Please, step away from what is in front of you and see the damage you are causing.
      Is there any science based evidence to show this is the best practice?

  • gray king

    to the corrections officer hail hitler you I beileve most contraband is smuggled into prisons by the staff so all corrections staff should be strip searched upon entry to create the sanitized orwellian word you so desire

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Apr 18, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow on Thursday, April 17, 2014. President Vladimir Putin has urged an end to the blockade of Moldova’s separatist province of Trans-Dniester. Trans-Dniester, located in eastern part of Moldova on border with Ukraine, has run its own affairs without international recognition since a 1992 war. Russian troops are stationed there.  (AP)

Deadly clashes in Eastern Ukraine. A white supremacist rocks Kansas City. The Marathon bombing anniversary. And Bloomberg on guns. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Apr 18, 2014
This undated photo provided by NASA on April 2, 2014 shows Saturn's moon Enceladus. The "tiger stripes" are long fractures from which water vapor jets are emitted. Scientists have uncovered a vast ocean beneath the icy surface of the moon, they announced Thursday, April 3, 2014. Italian and American researchers made the discovery using Cassini, a NASA-European spacecraft still exploring Saturn and its rings 17 years after its launch from Cape Canaveral. (AP)

Oceans in Space. The new discovery on a moon of Saturn, and the possibility of life there.

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Apr 18, 2014
This undated photo provided by NASA on April 2, 2014 shows Saturn's moon Enceladus. The "tiger stripes" are long fractures from which water vapor jets are emitted. Scientists have uncovered a vast ocean beneath the icy surface of the moon, they announced Thursday, April 3, 2014. Italian and American researchers made the discovery using Cassini, a NASA-European spacecraft still exploring Saturn and its rings 17 years after its launch from Cape Canaveral. (AP)

Oceans in Space. The new discovery on a moon of Saturn, and the possibility of life there.

 
Apr 18, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow on Thursday, April 17, 2014. President Vladimir Putin has urged an end to the blockade of Moldova’s separatist province of Trans-Dniester. Trans-Dniester, located in eastern part of Moldova on border with Ukraine, has run its own affairs without international recognition since a 1992 war. Russian troops are stationed there.  (AP)

Deadly clashes in Eastern Ukraine. A white supremacist rocks Kansas City. The Marathon bombing anniversary. And Bloomberg on guns. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

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