Post submission by Aram James: The US Supreme Court today –in a 5-4 decision (Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of County of Burlington) ripped at the heart of our of 4th Amendment – our right to be free of illegal and unreasonable searches and seizures; and our right to insist that before the government invades our privacy, our homes, our cars, our bodies—that they must have probable cause to do so. Today’s decision does away with the probable cause requirement for strip-searches– for even the most minor offense i.e., violation of a leash law.
Today’s decision states only that jail officials may strip-search anyone arrested who will subsequently be placed in the general population of a jail or prison –even for the most innocuous offense—not that they have to or must be strip-searched. The decision leaves wide-open discretion to jail officials to determine who and under what circumstances someone shall be subject to an invasive strip-search. Continue reading