Five conservative Supreme Court justices, who routinely blather on about limited government, have just made it legal for police to strip-search anyone – arrested for any reason – as they please.
This decision is a direct violation of the 4th Amendment which states: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Its hard to imagine a more unreasonable search than a strip search of someone wrongly arrested over a traffic fine which the police mistakenly thought unpaid – all without any reason to believe he was concealing anything. Yet that is exactly what the court has judged to be constitutional.
Beyond incompetent, this ruling violates the judicial oath of office to uphold the Constitution. Unfortunately, the political corruption of our system precludes the correct remedy-impeachment. (Those defending this decision should remember that one definition of a liberal is a conservative who just got arrested. If such people ever find themselves forced to disrobe and lift their genitals for a cop to inspect, they may suddenly want the rights they so casually dismiss for others.)
A more practical remedy for this subversion of our rights is a federal law explicitly prohibiting strip-searches without probable cause. The courts ruling simply (and wrongly) says the Constitution does not prohibit such searches – it does not stand in the way of lower laws being created to prohibit them. We must urge our lawmakers to introduce and support such legislation if we wish to remain free.
ROBERT J. UECKER