Saturday, April 07, 2012

Supreme Court Strip Search Decision one of Worst Supreme Court Decisions Ever

"Lady, you were speeding. Now, take off your clothes and do as you are told."

This is what the U.S. Supreme Court is telling us is the LAW of the United States. THAT is the law of the land in the Land of the free? Good grief. All because of some minuscule minority of criminals who try to smuggle contraband into jails and prisons?? THAT is the solution in the high tech era??

In what dark age does this majority of Justices live?

Since when do practical problems of law enforcement authorities and difficulties of jail or prison incarceration override Constitutional protections?

Sometimes one really has to ask what goes on in America and what legal god some of the Justices on the United States Supreme Court worship.

That god is most certainly not the Constitution of the United States, which appears in many of the recent 5-4 decisions of the Supreme Court to be merely an afterthought document, consulted only if it agrees with the political views of the Justices, but which is otherwise more or less ignored if its strict application leads to a "politically incorrect" result in the eyes of the Supreme Court majority.

As written by Inimai Chettiar at the ACLU Blog in Supreme Court Says Jails Can Strip Search You – Even for Traffic Violations:
"Yesterday’s ruling provides the country with an opportune moment to reflect on our epidemic of mass incarceration. There are 6 million people currently in prison or under correctional supervision in the U.S. — more than were in Stalin’s gulags. As Florence’s case shows, incarceration isn’t just for serious crimes anymore. These days you can go to jail for jaywalking and unpaid traffic fines — even if you have proof that you’re innocent. Almost 80 percent of people in jail are there for nonviolent, drug, or ordinance violations. The government can keep you jail for days or months before you ever see a courtroom — in one case, a man was pulled over for a DWI and held in jail without a trial for two years. And now the Supreme Court says in some cases it’s constitutional to strip search you once they haul you in, even if there is no particular reason to think you present a threat to jail security."
As noted at the Philadelphia Inquirer in Strip-search ruling is baffling:
"Breyer correctly pointed out that the Fourth Amendment right against illegal search and seizure includes strip searches of people arrested for minor offenses not involving drugs or violence, unless jailers suspect them of carrying contraband. Breyer also noted that drugs or weapons were found in only one of 64,000 strip searches of nonviolent offenders."
That is 5 of 320,000 nonviolent offenders and 5000 of 320 million people, the U.S. population. That is supposedly "reasonable search" under the U.S. Constitution? justifying strip searching everyone without probable cause because of fewer than 5000 people who stick drugs into their bodies or hide them on their bodies to escape normal detection? (hidden metal weapons can be discerned by surveillance machines -- no strip search is required).

The entire Supreme Court decision is totally ridiculous.

As Sherry Colb at CNN writes in Court ruling on strip searches is unjust:
"Prison and jail officials have exceedingly difficult jobs and are entitled to flexibility in their efforts to secure the institutions they run. Strip searches, however, are extremely intrusive, humiliating and frequently traumatic, as the Supreme Court has acknowledged. Even in the Supreme Court building itself, where the need for security is undoubtedly great, guards do not strip search members of the public who come to watch oral arguments.

Imagine the fallout if they did."
Right now we rank this particular Supreme Court of the United States as the worst in the history of America, especially the current majority, from which not too much good jurisprudence can be expected, either now or in the future.

This is what happens when Justices are appointed for political reasons, rather than for judicial impartiality and judging wisdom. You get little impartiality and even less wisdom.

A dark day for American jurisprudence.

Talking Like a Lawyer: McElhaney on Professional Speaking

Jim McElhaney at the ABA Journal Law News Now has a very useful posting on 
the topic of professional speaking


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