Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in School Strip Search Case

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

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?

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108 Responses to “Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in School Strip Search Case”

  1. #1 |  Chris | 

    Ginsburg was really the only one that seemed appalled by what happened. The Supreme Court inadvertently yesterday made a great case for diversity being a good thing. 8 old men basically acted like it was no big deal to strip to underwear and seemed happy to recount their stories of running around in their underpants at that age. The only justice that had ever been a 13 year old girl, however, was outraged at what had happened. The other justices also seem caught up in the panic about kids and drugs. When the lawyer for the school board claimed that kids were huffing black markers, what I would have given for one justice to ask the school board lawyer to tell him how many confirmed cases of marker huffing there really are. More than likely, the lawyer just heard it from someone, with the someone likely being a person whose job or tactics depend on adults being panicked by scary stories about kids and drugs.

  2. #2 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    OK. All I’ve seen is that Americans put up with everything the state does to them. And, they will put up with this too. ED abuse, taxes, bailout looting, Katrina, SWAT, puppycide, no WMD, wire taps, etc…

    Before you neg karma me, does anyone here want to bet a year’s salary that this goes–at best–like Kelo? Until there’s a real revolution in the USA (not a tea party that’s already forgotten), the people will have no power here. None.

    And I ain’t going to bet an ounce of silver on the revolution being peaceful.

  3. #3 |  Stephen | 

    I’m in the “baseball bat applied to principal” crowd.

    Any finger(or any other body part) that goes up my kids but will end up in a jar of formaldehyde above my fireplace.

  4. #4 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Any finger(or any other body part) that goes up my kids but will end up in a jar of formaldehyde above my fireplace.

    With the owner still attached.

  5. #5 |  JS | 

    @100 Boyd Durkin “Since all us citizens exist only at the tender mercy of the state, I’d like to shove my cheese hog in yer fucking underwear, Breyer.

    No lube!”

    While I’m pretty sure I think I agree with your sentiments I must ask, what the hell is a cheese hog?

  6. #6 |  ian | 

    I would kill anyone that did this to one of my kids. No questions asked, no forethought, straight up kill.

  7. #7 |  pam | 

    It’s confirmed, they are dirty old men.

    To me the contradiction is that we can’t trust kids with Advil, but they are adult enough to go to prison for life. There seems to be a great big hole the size of the Grand Canyon in that logic.

  8. #8 |  Alas, a blog » Blog Archive » Blogs discussing the “strip search” case | 

    […] The Agitator, responding to a comment by Justice Souter, writes: 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? […]