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Supreme Court Expands Unreasonable Search Doctrine to Include – Everything!

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We try not to be too alarmist here at Holistic Survival. We’re not Chicken Little running around every day in a panic that the sky is falling, even though sizable chunks seem to be hitting our heads with more frequency these days. For instance, we recently noticed that the Supreme Court appears to have decided that strip searches are fine and dandy for ANY offense and for ANY reason.

We don’t blame you if that last sentence made you rub your eyes to insure you weren’t hallucinating. While you very well might be hallucinating in a general sense, in this case your eyes did not lie. Witness a recent headline from the New York Times:

“Supreme Court Ruling Allows Strip Searches for Any Offense.”

Say what? Hate to have to point out the obvious, but there’s this little thing called the Constitution, which specifically prevents “unreasonable” searches in the text of the 4th Amendment. Here’s the pertinent part of the Times article (the brackets are ours):

“The Supreme Court on Monday ruled by a 5-to-4 vote that officials may strip-search people arrested (not yet convicted) for any offense (not crime), however minor, before admitting them to jails, even if the officials have no reason to suspect the presence of contraband.”

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, joined by the court’s conservative wing, wrote that courts are in no position to second-guess the judgments of correctional officers, who must consider not only the possibility of smuggled weapons and drugs but also public health and information about gang affiliations.


It appears the police state is alive and well in the United States of America. While our most vaunted justices seem myopically focused on not second-guessing front line correctional officers, they have no problem second-guessing the Constitution. This, folks, should be scary stuff to you and us.

The decision was provoked by a plaintiff who objected to two strip searches on grounds they violated both the 4th and 14th amendments. Too bad, buddy. Seems that your expectation of protection against unreasonable searches for any reason under the sun (or no reason at all) is now standard operating procedure in this here republic of ours.

Brace yourselves. This isn’t going to be pretty.

The Holistic Survival Team




Flickr / Daquella manera


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