The Supreme Court, with Justice Kennedy writing for the 5-4 majority, held today that jail strip searches do not require reasonable suspicion. So long as the jail intends to send the person being arrested into general population, it has now been Supremely OK’d to require that person to strip naked, get soaked in a delousing agent, squat and spread your ass cheeks, and lift your junk if you got junk.
In Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Burlington, the petitioner was taken to jail after a traffic stop when the officer saw a warrant – mistakenly issued – for having missed payment on a fine. After the strip search and a night in jail, the mistake was cleared up, the petitioner released, and the charges dismissed. There was no suspicion, reasonable or otherwise, that the petitioner was concealing on his body drugs or any other type of contraband.
Justice Kennedy’s dangerously deferential reasoning underlying the ruling: “…courts must defer to the judgment of correctional officials unless the record contains substantial evidence showing their policies are an unnecessary or un-justified response to problems of jail security.”