Saturday, June 27, 2009

US Supreme Court - Strip Searching Schoolkids Illegal

In an unexpected decision, the United States Supreme Court has ruled, 8-1, that the strip search of then 13-year old eighth grader, Savana Redding, by school officials looking for drugs was unconstitutional.

During argument, the eight male judges appeared to be highly skeptical about the degree of suffering this sort of search could cause a young girl. That skepticism somehow evaporated before the judgment was written.

The decision wasn't quite unanimous. Noted USSC lawn ornament, the ever-mute Clarence Thomas, showed yet again how abysmally out of touch with reality he truly is by ruling to dismiss Redding's appeal.

Redding was a grade school honour student. Another kid, caught with drugs, blamed it on Redding. School officials, with no cause beyond the one kid's story, ordered the young girl into a room where she was forced to disrobe. Redding's mother was not notified in advance.

The young girl was so traumatized that she dropped out of school. She has since returned and will enter college this fall. When she sued (thanks to the ACLU), the school board, backed up by the National School Boards Association, put up a furious defence.

In his dissenting judgment, the reliably doctrinaire Thomas complained that the 8-vote majority ruling, "grants judges sweeping authority to second-guess the measures that these officials take to maintain discipline in their schools and ensure the health and safety of the students in their charge." I don't know why this guy even bothers showing up for hearings. When it comes to his vote, and the legal reasoning behind it, surely he can just phone it in.

1 comment:

Fish said...

I dunno mound, I mean sure we would never trust the most well trained and professional of police officers, but surely we can trust school officials to wield unbridled powers of search and seizure!