And it doesn’t look good. By the NY Times account of yesterday’s arguments, even the Court’s liberal justices seemed amenable to strip searches by school administrators. A couple justices even seemed to endorse the idea of body cavity searches.
Justice Breyer elaborated on what children put in their underwear. “In my experience when I was 8 or 10 or 12 years old, you know, we did take our clothes off once a day,” he said. “We changed for gym, O.K.? And in my experience, too, people did sometimes stick things in my underwear.”
The courtroom rocked with laughter, and the justice grew a little flustered at having apparently misspoken…
Several justices appeared troubled by the search, but also seemed loath to second-guess school officials confronted with a variety of dangerous substances.
“My thought process,” Justice Souter said, “is I would rather have the kid embarrassed by a strip search, if we can’t find anything short of that, than to have some other kids dead because the stuff is distributed at lunchtime and things go awry.”
Can anyone think of a single incident in the last 30 years in which several children have died after ingesting drugs distributed by one of their classmates on school grounds? Before we let school principals go rummaging through the panties of underage girls, shouldn’t we be at least be able to cite a few examples?
It’s a little troubling to see how comfortable these old men (Ginsburg isn’t quoted in the article) seem to be with allowing school administrators access to the genitalia of school children based on nothing more than a hunch that they might be “crotching” some ibuprofen.
At this point, the drug war really can’t be parodied, can it?