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Crime Severity and Constitutional Line-Drawing:

Justice Thomas's partial dissent in yesterday's school near-strip-search case contains this paragraph:

The majority's decision in this regard also departs from another basic principle of the Fourth Amendment: that law enforcement officials can enforce with the same vigor all rules and regulations irrespective of the perceived importance of any of those rules. "In a long line of cases, we have said that when an officer has probable cause to believe a person committed even a minor crime in his presence, the balancing of private and public interests is not in doubt. The arrest is constitutionally reasonable." Virginia v. Moore, 553 U. S. ___, ___ (2008) (slip op., at 6). The Fourth Amendment rule for searches is the same: Police officers are entitled to search regardless of the perceived triviality of the underlying law. As we have explained, requiring police to make "sensitive, case-by-case determinations of government need," Atwater v. Lago Vista, 532 U. S. 318, 347 (2001), for a particular prohibition before conducting a search would "place police in an almost impossible spot," id., at 350.

I often like much of Justice Thomas's work, but here it seems that he errs.

The notion that judges shouldn't evaluate the supposed severity of various crimes in applying constitutional tests is plausible. In fact, as I discuss in Crime Severity and Constitutional Line-Drawing, 90 Va. L. Rev. 1957 (2004), the Court has indeed sometimes endorsed this notion, including in the Fourth Amendment area. In Mincey v. Arizona (1978), for instance, the Court declined to create a "murder scene" exception to the Fourth Amendment warrant requirement, reasoning that courts had no manageable standards for drawing a line between murders and other crimes:

[T]he public interest in the investigation of other serious crimes is comparable. If the warrantless search of a homicide scene is reasonable, why not the warrantless search of the scene of a rape, a robbery, or a burglary? "No consideration relevant to the Fourth Amendment suggests any point of rational limitation" of such a doctrine.

Likewise, in New Jersey v. T.L.O. (1985), the Court allowed searches of public school students based merely on reasonable suspicion, and refused to limit such a doctrine to searches for evidence of serious offenses:

We are unwilling to adopt a standard under which the legality of a search is dependent upon a judge's evaluation of the relative importance of various school rules .... The promulgation of a rule forbidding specified conduct presumably reflects a judgment on the part of school officials that such conduct is destructive of school order or of a proper educational environment. Absent any suggestion that the rule violates some substantive constitutional guarantee, the courts should, as a general matter, defer to that judgment and refrain from attempting to distinguish between rules that are important to the preservation of order in the schools and rules that are not.

But other cases have disagreed. Tennessee v. Garner (1983) held that the Fourth Amendment generally bars the police from shooting at a fleeing felon unless "the suspect threatens the officer with a weapon or there is probable cause to believe that he has committed a crime involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical harm." Though "burglary is a serious crime," the Court concluded, "it is [not] so dangerous as automatically to justify the use of deadly force," because it is "a 'property' rather than a 'violent' crime."

Likewise, in Welsh v. Wisconsin (1984), the Court held that a warrantless home arrest couldn't be justified by the Fourth Amendment's exigent circumstances exception when the person was being arrested for a nonjailable misdemeanor. The misdemeanor was drunk driving, which at least one member of the majority thought was very dangerous. Still, the Court concluded that Wisconsin's classification of the misdemeanor as a nonjailable offense was "the best indication of the State's interest in precipitating an arrest, and is one that can be easily identified both by the courts and by officers faced with a decision to arrest."

And the Court's Fourth Amendment "special needs" cases (more or less the ones where the usual probable cause requirement is relaxed, as it is in schools) at times stress the harmfulness of the conduct that the search or seizure is trying to uncover. See, e.g., Mich. Dep't of State Police v. Sitz (1990) (stressing, in upholding checkpoints aimed at catching and deterring drunk drivers, "the magnitude of the drunken driving problem" and "the States' interest in eradicating it"); Skinner v. Ry. Labor Executives' Ass'n (stressing the "compelling Government interests served by" a drug and alcohol testing program for railway employees involved in certain train accidents). It's not clear, though, how significant a role this factor plays, or when the Court would conclude that the need is not great enough. In Delaware v. Prouse (1979), for instance, the Court suggested that checkpoints might be permitted even to check to make sure people aren't driving without a license or a registration. Conversely, in City of Indianapolis v. Edmond (2000), and Ferguson v. City of Charleston (2001), the Court struck down drug checkpoints and the testing of obstetrics patients for drugs, because these programs were aimed at advancing "the general interest in crime control," even though the crime that they were trying to control was quite serious, likely as serious as drunk driving. The Court's special needs cases today thus seem focused primarily on whether the searches and seizures are aimed at some interest other than uncovering crimes (as opposed to trying to catch a specific criminal), on how intrusive they are, and on how much discretion they leave to the police. Nonetheless, while the seriousness of the crime being detected or deterred seems to be less significant, some still valid precedents do rely on the premise that certain searches are justified precisely by the seriousness of the crime involved.

To be sure, requiring government officials to make case-by-case evaluations of crime severity based on the specific facts of each case might well make the rule too unpredictable (though, in a related area, case-by-case evaluations of probable cause based on the specific facts of each case are precisely what Fourth Amendment law often requires). But some sort of evaluation based at least on the type of crime involved is indeed required by Tennessee v. Garner. And more broadly, even if the caselaw generally avoids case-by-case evaluations (one item that the quote from Justice Thomas's opinion condemns), it does not uniformly apply to enforcement of "all rules and regulations irrespective of the perceived importance of any of those rules."

So it seems to me that Justice Thomas's opinion here finds consistency and uniformity in an area where the cases are either inconsistent with each other or at least not uniform (even if their positions can be somehow reconciled). Perhaps the position that Justice Thomas is endorsing with regard to crime severity and constitutional line-drawing is the sound one. But it seems to me that it needs to be defended more on the merits, rather than by reliance on a supposedly "basic principle" derived from the existing precedents — precedents that are actually quite mixed on this question.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Crime Severity and Constitutional Line-Drawing:
  2. I'll say it if Justice Souter Won't:
Tracy Johnson (www):
Jean Valjean, the Bishop, and Javert would have a field day.
6.26.2009 9:20am
Stephen C. Carlson (www):
This sentence/paragraph seems to missing some text at the end:

The school search cases are often seen as part of the Court's "special needs" jurisprudence, in which the usual probable-cause-and-something-warrant


[Whoops, fixed, thanks! -EV]
6.26.2009 9:29am
Hank Bowman, MD (mail) (www):
Since when is the vice principal at a school a 'law enforcement officer'?

Seems like Thomas screwed the pooch on this one....

And strip searching a 13 year old for a couple of advil is just wrong. Not holding the school officials liable for this stupidity is even more so.
6.26.2009 9:49am
Joseph Slater (mail):
You could add NTEU v. Von Raab, in which the Supreme Court held that some, but not all, public employees could be drug-tested without individualized suspicion without violating the Fourth Amendment. If the employee occupied a "safety-sensitive" jobs, that employee could be subject to, e.g., random drug tests; if, however, the employee was not in such a job, a random test (or any other test done without reasonable suspicion that the individual used drugs) violated the Fourth Amendment rights of the employee.

This case has led, not surprisingly, to a bunch of lower court cases deciding which employees are and are not "safety sensitive." So in this area, the same search (a drug test) can be constitutional or not depending on the job tasks of the employee being tested.
6.26.2009 9:49am
Jay:
Hank Bowman, MD--I don't think the Fourth Amendment makes any distinction between who's a "law enforcement officer" and who's some other kind of government employee.
6.26.2009 10:09am
Houston Lawyer:
I believe that it was an adversion to being sued that resulted in the schools' adopting zero tolerance programs, which themselves lead to this ridiculous behavior. If the federal courts would get out of the business of running schools, school officials would likely behave more reasonably.
6.26.2009 10:15am
pubdefender:
the checkpoint cases (ostensibly) aren't "special needs" cases. rehnquist specifically rejected that contention in sitz. hard to see how you distinguish a "primary purpose" distinct from "ordinary crime control" from a "special need" beyond "ordinary law enforcement" needs, though -- or why you would bother.
6.26.2009 10:17am
Thales (mail) (www):
I thought that Sitz was considered to have a public safety rationale rather than a generalized interest in controlling crime (and in that case victimless/consensual class of crime) like Edmond . . .
6.26.2009 10:29am
William Spieler (mail) (www):
Thomas pretty clearly views constitutional protections in elementary and secondary schools in somewhat of a Dickensian light. See Morse v. Frederick.

I'm not entirely convinced that he's wrong on constitutional grounds, even if it's terrible pedagogic philosophy.
6.26.2009 10:34am
S.M. Oliva (mail) (www):
Sexual assaulting a minor -- whether you call it a "strip search" or not -- is a crime. Possessing a couple of pills is not. Mr. Thomas has an inverted and incorrect sense of morality.
6.26.2009 10:41am
anonoprof (mail):
The biggest problem I saw in the Thomas dissent was some apparent uncertainty in the standard he advances. If there's reasonable suspicion of contraband, then what's the permissible scope of the search? Thomas says in one place: so long as the search is "limited to the areas where the object of
that infraction could be concealed."

This just has to be overbroad, which is why he drops footnote 3 - saying there's a different standard for searches that penetrate beneath the skin, searches that would include, for him, cavity searches. Note that he doesn't say he agrees even with those cases. But even with that exception, the standard Thomas adopts prohibits searching only in places where it would not be possible to conceal the contraband. For something as small as a pill, this would provide no limit at all. And thus, if there's reasonable suspicion the person is carrying a pill, the school gets a blank check to search absolutely anything.

Elsewhere, though, Thomas phrases the standard a little differently: "A search of a student therefore is permissible in scope under T. L. O. so long as it is objectively reasonable to believe that the area searched could conceal the contraband." This phrasing emphasizes the ambiguity of the word "could." One might read Thomas to be saying there has to be some objective reason to believe the contraband is actually in the area being searched. That provides, I suppose, some stopping point. But it's not clear to me he means this - rather than, as explained above, only that the thing being searched is objectively capable of containing the thing being sought.

Even if school administrators need a little more fourth amendment leeway, the Thomas approach is ultra-authoritarian. The opinion is, in more ways than indicated here, just a mess.
6.26.2009 10:54am
Dominick (mail):
It would seem the cases you cite as exceptions are distinguishable.

The Wisconsin case regarding arrests fits right into the idea that the Court is okay with creating clear bright lines, but not in forcing case-by-case analysis. It should be clear to police and other law-enforcement officials whether the violation they are going to arrest a person for is "nonjailable" or can result in jail time. It would appear that the rule then is - if the offender can't get jail time, the exigent circumstances exception is inapplicable. If the offense could or does carry jail time, the police can use the exception - fairly easy call which does not require any individualized assessment of "danger" - in effect the legislature declared that the particular offense is not "dangerous"

The other two cases are different in kind as both involve the use of potentially deadly force. In such cases, the degree of danger can be very important when you're deciding whether law enforcement can potentially end the life of the offender. While a search or arrest may be inconvenient - it can be remedied - the offender can be released, property returned or excluded from a trial, perhaps even money damages awarded. But if the individual is killed, there is no remedy for that individual - perhaps his surviving family can obtain money damages, but they can never get the person back. So, it seems the Court would want to be more careful in that area and would want to require police to be cautious in using deadly force.

The "special needs" cases are also different - they typically arise in situations where officials do, or propose to, search individuals without reasonable cause or even suspicion. The mandatory drug testing of train operators is not done because the railroad has reason to believe the particular operator they are testing is on drugs but because they need to make sure he isn't even if he shows no signs. Likewise, drunk driving checkpoints typically stop every driver even where the police see no outward signs that the driver is drunk, or has even had a drink. Here, the school officials had particularized suspicion about a particular student. Had the school proposed to strip search every student each morning to make sure they weren't carrying prohibited substances, then you'd need to determine if there was a "special need" for such a system - and the district would probably deserve to fail such a test (perhaps they could pass if they showed that there was a pervasive and sizeable drug problem in the school but that's not what we had here).

So, I'm not sure why the Court should have resorted to any of those lines of cases where severity of offense is considered in making its determination in this case. I think Justice Thomas is correct in saying that the general line of cases is the applicable law. By not adhering to it in this case, the Court may have just opened up a whole new area of Fourth Amendment challenges that will seek to build further "case sensitive" requirements into the Fourth Amendment standard.
6.26.2009 10:58am
anonoprof (mail):
In case anyone's interested, here's my outline of the Thomas dissent:

I - From precedent, we give school administrators broader search authority. Standard from TLO is "justified at inception" and "reasonablyt related in scope."

A. Inception - Justified because of low bar in school setting, past drug problems in this school, recent alcohol and cigarette incidents, in which Redding might have been involved, student accusation that Redding was pill source. (Agrees with majority on this point.)

B. Scope - 1. All that's required is that the it be physically possible that the contraband is in the location being searched. Other people have hidden drugs in their underwear - citing anecdotal evidence. If can't search underwear, kids will hide things there.
2. Courts should not evaluate school policy to decide reasonableness of scope. So the search authority to enforce objectively unreasonable rules is equal to that necessary to enforce reasonable rules.
3. Even if we do evaluate policy, treating all drugs, legal or illegal and whether or not routinely abused, the same is a reasonable policy, citing evidence of extent of abuse of some prescription medicines. Also, even drugs like ibuprofen pose overdose and other risks.

II - Students don't have constitutional rights in schools, and neither do parents. Teachers should have all the rights to control students that parents have to control their own children. And if parents don't like school policies, they can lobby for change or opt for private schools. This will work fine, because it worked in a few other places.

III - The war against drugs is really important.
6.26.2009 11:17am
DCP:


Sexual assaulting a minor -- whether you call it a "strip search" or not -- is a crime. Possessing a couple of pills is not. Mr. Thomas has an inverted and incorrect sense of morality.


And you have an inverted and incorrect sense of the law. A strip search, if done properly, is not a "sexual assault" nor any other type of crime. Possessing a couple of pills, without a prescription, is most certainly a crime.

Now, most would agree that it is terrible educational policy to allow school officials to strip search students on flimsy suspicions of minor offenses. But it's not the court's duty to dictate educational policies.
6.26.2009 11:20am
anonoprof (mail):
DCP: "But it's not the court's duty to dictate educational policies."

That's the framing Thomas tried to use, but it fails. Subsitute any other area of policy for "educational," and it has the same ring. While it may not be the courts' role to set the policy, it decidedly IS the courts' role to prohibit a government actor from invading protected rights - even if doing so is the actor's chosen policy. Deciding what those rights are is controversial, and it's possible to go so far as to be effectively setting policy in policing rights. But it's also possible, as the Thomas dissent makes plain, that the courts might do so little that the authoritarian power of a governmental actor is unchecked.
6.26.2009 11:35am
pintler:

I believe that it was an adversion to being sued that resulted in the schools' adopting zero tolerance programs, which themselves lead to this ridiculous behavior. If the federal courts would get out of the business of running schools, school officials would likely behave more reasonably.


My take on that is that zero tolerance foolishness results from a basic defect in accountability - in the bureaucracies I am familiar with, the individual actor is immune from discipline if he has followed policy, even if the resulting actions are obviously idiotic. Given that, the last thing an individual wants is a policy that says 'use your discretion'; if he uses his discretion, he might get in trouble for having made a bad choice.

It's bad enough when low level functionaries adopt a 'don't think, just follow policy regardless of the consequences' mindset, but we have somehow allowed that to percolate upwards, until people who are in command, like school superintendents, can also hide behind policy, when the very essence of command is using good judgment, and being responsible for the outcome.

In the same way that, IIUC, you can mount a necessity defense to almost any crime, we need to make outright stupidity by those in command a firing offense, regardless of policy.
6.26.2009 11:47am
ruuffles (mail) (www):
Consider the political fallout if the Thomas dissent were the majority, and Ginsburg read her dissent from the bench (with or without Souter and Breyer). It could have very well derailed the opposition to Sotomayor, as what senator is going to stand up and defend that ruling with that particular set of facts?

Compare a 5-4 decision in favor of the school district, with a 5-4 decision in favor of New Haven. Though the latter would likely have to adopt the DOJ position in order to get Kennedy on board. Its no question which would cause more outrage.
6.26.2009 11:52am
David M. Nieporent (www):
What's really ridiculous is how the word "drugs" immediately turns off everyone's critical faculties, such that they think anything is justified. Here are the facts which supposedly justify a search/strip search of Redding:

1) Jordan Romero had said a week earlier that certain students were bringing drugs and weapons on campus.
2) Jordan Romero claimed a week earlier to have gotten sick after taking a pill given to him by a classmate.
3) Jordan Romero claimed that he had been given Advil by Marisa Glines.
4) Jordan Romero claimed that students were planning to take Advil at lunch.
5) Marisa Glines had Advil.
6) Marisa Glines was friends with Redding.
7) Redding, Glines, and other people were "unusually rowdy" at a school dance.
8) Someone in a group of people Redding was with may have smelled of alcohol.
9) During the dance, utterly unconnected to Redding, Glines, et al., alcohol and cigarettes were found in the girls' bathroom.
10) Jordan Romero had said that there was alcohol served at a party at Redding's house.
11) When Marisa was caught with Advil, she pointed a finger at Redding.
12) When Redding's clothes and backpack were searched, no pills were found.

Thomas adds the following:

13) A few years earlier, a student had gotten sick from taking pills from a classmate.
14) Professional drug dealers may secrete items in their underwear.
15) Random drug propaganda claims that abuse of prescription drugs by kids is increasing.

Note how few of those facts actually relate to Redding. Not #1 or #2 -- we can presume that if she had been accused, that fact would have come out. Not #3-5. #6-8 involve her, but certainly don't provide evidence of guilt on Redding's part. Not #9. Not #13-15. #12 is exculpatory, obviously. The only association between Redding and any pills is that the girl who was actually caught with said pills tried to shift blame to Redding. The only other fact related to Redding is that some kids may have drunk alcohol at her house, which makes her, I believe, an American citizen; it certainly has nothing to do with anything related to "pills."

In short, Thomas's opinion is that any time a school wants to strip search a student, they merely need to cite the word "drugs." The majority's opinion says, essentially, "We agree, as long as it's anything more potent than Advil."
6.26.2009 11:53am
ruuffles (mail) (www):

The majority's opinion says, essentially, "We agree, as long as it's anything more potent than Advil."

I suspect that's why Roberts, Alito, and Scalia signed on, because it's a worthless decision designed to avoid a backlash.
6.26.2009 12:04pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
DCP... there is no functional difference between a strip search and a sexual assault. The actions involved are the same. The difference is only a legal one.

And here, the pill was ibuprofen. No prescription was required. It was not, in fact, a crime for her to have the pill. A violation of a (ridiculous) school policy, yes, but not a crime.

I agree with the earlier commenter who said that this kind of thinking stems, in part, from the Court's greater intrusion into the affairs of the schools. Schools are not like the rest of government, and there should be, in general, greater restrictions on the liberties of minors in schools than those which government can apply elsewhere. By treating schools as little different than town councils, subject to almost all the same Constitutional restrictions as any random government official, the courts have forced principals and teachers to start thinking like government bureaucrats, focused excessively on "the rules," rather than what's fundamentally right and wrong.
6.26.2009 12:10pm
Simple-minded:
A strip search, if done properly, is not a "sexual assault" nor any other type of crime.


Whether or not it meets the specific definition of a “sexual assualt”, the conduct described amounts to a common assault:

Trespass vi et armis.
6.26.2009 12:13pm
ruuffles (mail) (www):

And here, the pill was ibuprofen. No prescription was required.

IIRC the pill was prescription ibuprofen. 2x the size of a non-prescription (advil).
6.26.2009 12:20pm
sk (mail):
"... there is no functional difference between a strip search and a sexual assault."

This is one of the looniest things I've read here.

Sk
6.26.2009 12:24pm
Tom952 (mail):
The standard of educational qualifications for school teachers and administrators is low (since they have opted out of usual academic degrees and replaced them with education degrees with lower performance standards), and the record of school employees violating students civil rights is long.

David Bernstein got it right when he said that when an accusation that a student has illegal drugs seems serious enough to pursue, it should be referred to law enforcement officials who are trained to establish probable cause before proceeding.

In addition, there should be a different standard for school employees dealing with clueless children than for dealing with developing sentient middle and high school students.

Perhaps the theme expressed by other posters that Justice Thomas was blinded by the war on "drugs" in this case is accurate.
6.26.2009 12:26pm
David Schwartz (mail):
"... there is no functional difference between a strip search and a sexual assault."
There is no functional difference between medicine and assault.
6.26.2009 12:54pm
interruptus:

I suspect that's why Roberts, Alito, and Scalia signed on, because it's a worthless decision designed to avoid a backlash.

What might be more useful than the actual decision is a chilling effect (in this case a good one) by school administrators who must now realize that strip-searching students puts them in danger of unwelcome media scrutiny. One can hope, anyway.

On the other hand, the opposite result might've also been useful for that purpose, since it might've given impetus to a Kelo-style legislative backlash.
6.26.2009 1:01pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):

Whether or not it meets the specific definition of a "sexual assualt", the conduct described amounts to a common assault:


California law should provide the only remedy in damages. I assume that soverign immunity or other immunities limit a state tort claim here. But that is a state, not a federal issue.

The S/C reached the right result on both prongs.

This was an unreasonable search becuase there was no evidence that she hid anything in her underwhere.

No damages because she suffered no real harm. Embarrassment is not a harm that the law should care about.

In fact, her parents caused more harm to her by making a public federal case out of this. Everyone in the country now knows what exactly what happened to her. But for no benefit.
6.26.2009 1:07pm
LarryA (mail) (www):
And strip searching a 13 year old for a couple of advil is just wrong. Not holding the school officials liable for this stupidity is even more so.
Prohibiting a thirteen-year-old from possessing the Advil is wrong. Since when has that slowed down the "zero tolerance" BS at schools.
Possessing a couple of pills, without a prescription, is most certainly a crime.
Really? Any time I carry around prescription drugs I have to have a copy of the prescription with me? My cousin has one of those 7-day containers she uses to carry multiple meds with her. Is that a felony? I think not.
6.26.2009 1:12pm
PC:
There is no functional difference between medicine and assault.

If I came up to you on the street and jabbed you with a needle, I would be charged with assault. Consent is the big issue.
6.26.2009 1:24pm
Gabriel McCall (mail):
The S/C reached the right result on both prongs. ...
No damages because she suffered no real harm. Embarrassment is not a harm that the law should care about.


Recompense for harm suffered is only one purpose of a damages award. The other would be disincenting the bad actor to repeat the harm.

Perhaps "embarassment" is not a harm that the law should care about, but I would argue that "fostering a culture of implicit tolerance towards fourth amendment violations" is somewhat more care-worthy.
6.26.2009 1:27pm
hattio1:
LarryA says (and quotes someone previously)
<blockquote>
Possessing a couple of pills, without a prescription, is most certainly a crime.
Really? Any time I carry around prescription drugs I have to have a copy of the prescription with me? My cousin has one of those 7-day containers she uses to carry multiple meds with her. Is that a felony? I think not.
</blockquote>

It's funny you say that. The cops around here take that attitude that you have to have a prescription with you at all times. I've asked time and again for citations. Nope. But they keep charging.
6.26.2009 1:28pm
ChrisIowa (mail):
hattio1

It's funny you say that. The cops around here take that attitude that you have to have a prescription with you at all times. I've asked time and again for citations. Nope. But they keep charging.

The few times I've had a prescription, the Pharmacist keeps it for her files after giving me the proper regulated substance. Is the practice different elsewhere?
6.26.2009 1:40pm
Gary McGath (www):
Thomas is just disgusting. He's apparently saying that school officials have the full power of law enforcement officials. Given that he sees nothing wrong with forcibly undressing a 13-year-old girl based on an unsubstantiated accusation, I suppose he wouldn't see anything wrong with the principal drawing a gun on her either -- just because the principal has heard someone say she's got an Advil on her.

I try not to be overly emotional in my comments here, but Thomas's commentary completely disgusts me.
6.26.2009 1:42pm
il1ra (mail):
I have prosecuted people for have prescription drugs without a prescription, so i can tell you, it is most certianly a crime and can be felony. Your state may differ of course.
6.26.2009 1:52pm
interruptus:

He's apparently saying that school officials have the full power of law enforcement officials.

I read it as considerably more than that. It's not clear to me at all that this search would be upheld if analyzed as a normal search by a law-enforcement officer. The probable cause for the search seems quite weak, and courts in the past have only upheld very limited spontaneous searches on such weak evidence, typically no further than a "pat-down search" for weapons.

Thomas instead seems to have a very strong "in loco parentis" view, where schools can do basically anything a parent would be able to do, even things a law-enforcement officer wouldn't normally be able to do.
6.26.2009 1:58pm
SamW:
I think tht's right, interruptus, because in loco parentis, was the common law of education and apprenticeships at the time of the of the founding.
6.26.2009 2:20pm
Sarcastrato (mail):
There is no functional difference between incarceration and false imprisonment. The actions involved are the same. The difference is only a legal one.

There is no functional difference between arrest and kidnapping. The actions involved are the same. The difference is only a legal one.

There is no functional difference between justifiable homicide and murder. The actions involved are the same. The difference is only a legal one.
6.26.2009 2:22pm
hattio1:
il1ra says;
<blockquote>
I have prosecuted people for have prescription drugs without a prescription, so i can tell you, it is most certianly a crime and can be felony. Your state may differ of course.
</blockquote>

You've prosecuted them for not having a prescription at all (clearly a crime) or for not have a prescription <b> on their person while they have the drugs on their person</b>? That's the issue we were discussing if you look at the comments.
6.26.2009 2:23pm
Fub:
David M. Nieporent wrote at 6.26.2009 11:53am:
What's really ridiculous is how the word "drugs" immediately turns off everyone's critical faculties, such that they think anything is justified. ...

In short, Thomas's opinion is that any time a school wants to strip search a student, they merely need to cite the word "drugs." The majority's opinion says, essentially, "We agree, as long as it's anything more potent than Advil."
Drugs turn off everyone's critical faculties. That's why they call them drugs, doncha know?

Besides, turning off critical faculties is the most important tool in constitutional analysis, especially where obsolete ideas like "rights" keep getting in government's way. Otherwise it would be too difficult for 50% plus one voters to put everybody else in prison.
6.26.2009 2:26pm
il1ra (mail):
Well, the police have to arrest you in either sitution because the police everyone says they have a valid prescription. However, Once the case gets to my desk, defense attorney will say this guy has a script. I'll talk to the doctor, the pharmacy, and once it's verified the guy has a legit prescription, we get rid of the case.
6.26.2009 2:29pm
whit:
state of WA has case law relevant to the actions of law enforcement being justified by the seriousness.

for example.

i cannot pursue into a residence, and i am speaking of hot pursuit, if the offense is a "minor" misdemeanor like minor in possession.

iow, it is ok to hot pursue into a private residence for (for example) Assault IV (a misdemeanor) but NOT Minor in Possession (a misdemeanor).

i think this is a little absurd. it's essentially the "home base" principle. but it is an example of an activity by law enforcement (pursuit on foot) not being justified even though it's in relation to a crime, because the crime is not "serious" enough.
6.26.2009 2:42pm
whit:

Well, the police have to arrest you in either sitution because the police everyone says they have a valid prescription. However, Once the case gets to my desk, defense attorney will say this guy has a script. I'll talk to the doctor, the pharmacy, and once it's verified the guy has a legit prescription, we get rid of the case.



utter rubbish.

first of all

1) the police don't HAVE to arrest you. there is such a thing as seizing the drugs and NOT making an arrest pending further investigation. something many cops (including myself) have done.

2) it is false that everybody says they have a valid prescription. i arrested a guy the other day who had some 80 mg oxycontins on him. i asked him if he had a prescription and he said he did not. he said he had a prescription for oxycodone, which i subsequently found under his seat (a prescription bottle for same) but readily admitted he did NOT have a script for oxycontin.

here's a little hint. nobody is going to give a flying #$(#( if you are carrying around penicillin, birth control pills, antibiotics, etc. w/o your script. you SHOULD, but it's generally a non-issue.

when it comes to CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES, you should NOT carry them around without the script.

but i have had cases where guys possessed controlled substances w/o a script ON THEM, but they were able to provide the name of their doctor and it was easily verifiable that they did have a script.

cops job is to gather evidence. in cases where you are innocent, as i repeatedly explain, it is usually TO YOUR BENEFIT to speak to the police and explain how you are innocent. those are perfect examples.
6.26.2009 2:51pm
JoeSixpack (mail):
I agree with ruffles and have to wonder if the people demonizing Thomas have even read the majority opinion. It doesn't say that strip searches are unconstitutional. It doesn't even say that the alleged contraband would have to be stronger than Advil for the strip search to be justified. It also would have been justified if the administration had some stronger reason to believe that the girl was hiding the contraband in her underwear. So presumably if her friend would have told someone "When she has pills on her, she sometimes hides them in her bra," the search would have been justified.

This decision puts the administration in an impossible position of trying to judge what medicines are dangerous enough to warrant a strip search. Would Tylenol with Codeine qualify? Allergy medication? Who knows. The school district will have to put together a list of what medications are strong enough to warrant a strip search, or keep a doctor on staff to make case by case judgments. Presumably, though, the people who banned Advil at the school made a judgment that Advil is sufficiently dangerous to be banned. I'm not even sure any evidence was presented about the dangerousness of Advil.
6.26.2009 2:52pm
Philistine (mail):

The school district will have to put together a list of what medications are strong enough to warrant a strip search, or keep a doctor on staff to make case by case judgments.


Or, I don't know.... maybe call the kid's parents....

Or, if they're really concerned, the police.
6.26.2009 2:57pm
mariner:
Gary McGrath:
Thomas is just disgusting. He's apparently saying that school officials have the full power of law enforcement officials. ...

I try not to be overly emotional in my comments here, but Thomas's commentary completely disgusts me.

You failed.

Thomas is saying that school officials should have the same powers as parents, not law enforcement officers.
6.26.2009 3:00pm
methodact:
The Trial court ruled for the school. The Ninth Circuit ruled for the school. After public opprobrium, The Ninth finally relented and ruled for Redding, en banc.

This decision, to me, seems every bit as important as . Reading this thread, to me, is even more important than real-time observation of the Cap and Trade, poised to foist carbon taxes, wide and far.
6.26.2009 3:11pm
methodact:
*every bit as important as Hamdi.
6.26.2009 3:13pm
Philistine (mail):
You know, as Thomas' reasoning is that you don't look at the severity of the infraction in determining the reasonableness of the search, then presumably he would allow a full strip search (not just pulling aside the underwear) if there was [i]some[/i] suspicion that the 13 year-old might have: An MP3 player (or other electronic device), gum, a marker, or a personal note.

All of which are forbidden by this school's rules. Safford Middle School Handbook
6.26.2009 3:17pm
Soronel Haetir (mail):
What I find interesting here is that Thomas is perhaps the single justice with whom I am most likely to agree when he is in lone dissent. But here he is just way off the reservation.
6.26.2009 3:21pm
Sid the warmonger (mail) (www):
I agree.

Not a mindreader but I believe Justice Thomas is claiming that school administrators have the same authority as parents. The ruling muddles more than it clears. Read the headlines about this rulling and you could believe any outcome. I think they MAY have had the authority to perform the search, but it would violate the common sense rule of doing their job well.

As a parent, I would hope that the school administrators had more sense. If my daughter is ever stripsearched at school, the headlines will read "Female faculty beaten without mercy by local parent".
6.26.2009 3:33pm
GMUSOL05:

Thomas is saying that school officials should have the same powers as parents, not law enforcement officers.


So what you're saying is that Thomas is saying that school officials should have MORE power than law enforcement officers?
6.26.2009 3:39pm
DCP:


Really? Any time I carry around prescription drugs I have to have a copy of the prescription with me? My cousin has one of those 7-day containers she uses to carry multiple meds with her. Is that a felony? I think not.


Look, that label on the pill bottle that has your name, the date, the pharmacy and the doctor's info is a prescription. That's partly why they put those things on there.

So, if you are walking around with a bottle of Oxycontin in your pocket, you're fine, assuming your identity matches the one on the bottle.

Now, if you are walking around with a ziplock bag full of Oxycontin, you're in trouble. And if you have one of those 7-day containers then you should carry around a copy of the prescription, to avoid any hassle.

Prescription drug abuse is becoming epidemic in this country, especially with the younger crowd. Law enforcement agencies are cracking down. Consider yourself warned.

And to repeat - YES - it is a crime to possess drugs without a valid prescription. It is a very serious crime, often a felony. You will be arrested. You will be treated the same as a pot dealer or a meth-head. You will be punished. Do not think that just because what you have in your possession was manufactured by some large, respectable public corporation instead of cooked up in some trailer park or ghetto that you will be treated differently by the police or criminal justice system.
6.26.2009 3:44pm
Tatil:

Prescription drug abuse is becoming epidemic in this country, especially with the younger crowd.

Well, I am not a minor, why should I suffer?
6.26.2009 4:15pm
Jay:
"And to repeat - YES - it is a crime to possess drugs without a valid prescription."

Also to repeat, no one in this thread has actually made the argument you spend the rest of the paragraph attacking. The question was whether a physical copy of the scrip is needed.


"So what you're saying is that Thomas is saying that school officials should have MORE power than law enforcement officers?"

The point is not the identity of the government employee (which is irrelevant for 4th amend. purposes; this is a weird place for so much anger to be focused--do you want it to be ok for the school to call a cop to strip search your 13 year old on the same level of evidence?) but the identity of those being subject to the search/regulation. A law enforcement officer (or a schoolteacher) cannot lawfully order me to tuck in my shirt as I walk down the street or take off my baseball cap inside the mall. But public schools can have dress codes, and can punish students for failing to follow them.
6.26.2009 4:20pm
Steve H (mail):
It may be difficult to know exactly where the line should be drawn in cases like this.

But wherever that line is, a strip search for possession of an over-the-counter medicine is way the hell on the wrong side of it.
6.26.2009 4:22pm
Dan Hamilton:
It looks to me as if Justice Thomas is looking at the law and constitution and believes that bright lines are needed in search cases. The police or school administrators should not have to think long and hard about weither a search is legal. If there is any ambugity about the validity of the search lawyers today will be all over the case. This would have the effect of chilling the search. Police or school administrators would only search if they were absolutly sure that it was legal. With School administrators where would that line be? Would any searchs be done?

Justice Thomas should have added that yes the search was legal and the school administrators are not held libel but the school administrators were very stupid to do a strip search in this case.

Justice Thomas was doing was a Supreme Court judge is supposed to do, judge the law not how he FELT about the case.

Please try and get beyond your and my anger with the stupidity of the school strip searching the girl.

1. In general does the LAW allow the school to search?
Yes.

2. Did the school have a reason to search the girl?
Yes, she had been accused.

3. In general what is the limit to the search?
Where the object searched for COULD BE!

In this case were these conditions meet. Yes.

Should they have striped searched her? NO!

Were the School people stupid beyond belief? YES!

The LAW says they were in the clear. Common sence says they should be fired because of their stupidity.

Justice Thomas looked at the LAW not emotions. Just as he is supposed to!
6.26.2009 4:23pm
Steve H (mail):

It looks to me as if Justice Thomas is looking at the law and constitution and believes that bright lines are needed in search cases.


Your sentence is inherently self-contradictory.

Regardless of what Justice Thomas "believes" may be needed, the fact is that "the law and constitution" clearly do *not* allow for bright line rules in this area. The Framers, Adopters, and Ratifiers gave us a constitution that barred "unreasonable searches and seizures." Thus, the Framers, Adopters, and Ratifiers clearly did not believe or intend that bright lines would govern this area of the law.

(This is one of the reasons why that "Balls and Strikes/Just Follow the Law" stuff is hogwash.)
6.26.2009 4:37pm
mcbain:

14) Professional drug dealers may secrete items in their underwear.


Pointer: do not buy items that drug dealers secrete into thier underwear, it won't get you high, and will most likely be very humiliating.
6.26.2009 4:37pm
il1ra (mail):
Well yes you can be given a dat, but thats not material, the point was i think is can the police detain you, and they can, whether its an arrest or a dat, it does not change analysis.
6.26.2009 4:43pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Zero tolerance rules seem to be written to avoid equal protection lawsuits. Here's the sort of case where a bit of discretion would almost certainly have stopped this idiocy. But if Johnny doesn't get expelled for having pocketknife in his car in the parking lot, but Emilio gets expelled for carrying a switchblade in his pocket into class, you know that someone is going to file a lawsuit claiming racism is the difference. And that's where sensible discretion disappears down the zero tolerance rabbit hole.
6.26.2009 4:57pm
MadeOutOfPeople (mail):
For what it's worth to the conversation above, the girl could not have been carrying the perscription with her, because she wasn't carrying the pills. The school suspected that she might be carrying pills. This wasn't, "you have pills, prove they are ok"--it was "we think you might have pills."

Oh, and with regards to things you can carry, and things you can't: as far as I understand, it's legal to carry around a single person's perscription of Oxycontin (or your favorite Schedule II drug) around with you. But you can find yourself detained, and you would need to prove that you are authorized to carry it around. They'll call your pharmacy.
6.26.2009 5:03pm
pete (mail) (www):

Here's the sort of case where a bit of discretion would almost certainly have stopped this idiocy.


Which is why I have some sympathy for the school administrator in this case. He doesn't get to write the drug laws or the school policies on what you are allowed to carry, but is expected to investigate what drugs are on his campus and is expected to make sure his students stay safe and that the school stays orderly. If he uses discression and common sense can get sued, fired etc. and if does not use discression and common sense he can get sued, fired etc.

Then people complain that we do not have good school administrators who are eager to use personal judgment.
6.26.2009 5:23pm
methodact:
Like we made a pre-emptive strike on Iraq, but there were no WMDs? No harm, no foul.
6.26.2009 5:40pm
ohwilleke:
Even if it was illegal for this particular girl to be in possession of a double strength advil, it doesn't appear that the school administrator was conducting the search for the purpose of investigating the act as a crime. Indeed, the school administrator probably didn't have authority under state law to make an arrest for the crime of possession of double strength advil at any right.

Generally, the standard is probable cause that a crime has been committed. When one is investigating the incident as a violation of a school rule, rather than investigating the incident as a violation of suspected crime as a crime, the matter looks a lot like the non-jailable offense case.

In non-criminal situations (even when criminal and civil violations overlap, for example, in civil tax and securities fraud cases) one normally do not use search warrant authority (or an extigent circumstance in lieu of search warrant authority) to investigate a case.

Also, just as the court makes some distinction, although not a huge one, between the standards applicable to death penalty cases and other felonies, there is a distinction between strip searching and other kinds of searches, just as there is a distinction between searching a home and searching other places. Indeed, the Court's Second Amendment jurisprudence, which sees the home as your castle doctrine as reinforcing the right to armed self-defense in Heller, makes a similar kind of analysis.

Really, the kinds of distinctions made in this case have been almost inevitable ever since the Court adopted the "totality of the circumstances test." On one hand, "totality of the circumstances" allows law enforcement to get away with searches even when one can't come up with a strict step by step doctrinal analysis of why the case is acceptable (New York used to, and perhaps still does, have that kind of elaborate set of rules for evaluating what does and doesn't cause probable cause in the face of tip information).

On the other hand, a "totality of the circumstances" test gives the government less slack to say "the law says its O.K." even when common sense makes clear that what the government is going in stupid to any reasonable person, even if one can't point to a specific rule or case that is one point. With freedom comes responsibility.

Probably the most notable point, however, nearly invisible because all the justices accept the way the case is framed, is that this case pretty unequivocally rejects an in loco parentis analysis for school officials. School officials are the legal equivalent of police officers in the court's analysis. The school setting may be part of the totality of the circumstances that they are evaluating while wearing a police officer hat, but this is still evaluated like any other 4th Amendment search and seizure case.

IRRC, the person doing the strip search was a female school nurse.

I don't think that many people would dispute that the girl's mother could do the same search, at the girl's home, for the same reason, without violating any law (even child abuse). The mother would, of course, not be implicating a 4th Amendment analysis, since there would be no state action element.

The opinion also seems to hint that had the school called the girl's parents and asked them for consent to strip search her, and they had consented, that the search might have been valid. The lack of parental consent to the search in this particular instance (perhaps even advanced parent consent to a search via a permission slip would have been valid), it isn't clear that the girl could have asserted her 4th Amendment rights on her own behalf.

The demise of in loco parentis has been accelerating ever since the first kid's rights in schools cases started winning half a century or so ago, but this case really puts a nail in the coffin. It may even reflect social reality. In the 1950s, parents may have actually views school officials as people acting as delegated parent figures for their chilidren. Today, parents don't feel like they are turning their children over to school officials, particularly older school children like this thirteen year old, in that way.

But, even if the girl were in a public boarding school, like D.C.'s Model Secondary School for the Deaf, or with a pre-schooler, in each case where parental authority is more clearly being transferred, it isn't clear that the girl would have had the same expectation of privacy she does in an ordinary public day school setting at age thirteen.
6.26.2009 5:43pm
hattio1:
Whit says;

1) the police don't HAVE to arrest you. there is such a thing as seizing the drugs and NOT making an arrest pending further investigation. something many cops (including myself) have done.

Exactly. Whit also says.


here's a little hint. nobody is going to give a flying #$(#( if you are carrying around penicillin, birth control pills, antibiotics, etc. w/o your script. you SHOULD, but it's generally a non-issue.

when it comes to CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES, you should NOT carry them around without the script.

The problem with this is pennicillin, birth control and antibiotics are controlled substances. They're just not controlled substances that are typically used to get high...but if you can only buy them with a doctor's prescription...they are controlled substances.
6.26.2009 5:49pm
methodact:
My notion of the typical 13-year-old schoolgirl, is India Eisley's character, Ashley Juergens, in ABC's Secret Life.
6.26.2009 6:20pm
Simple-minded:
I don't think that many people would dispute that the girl's mother could do the same search, at the girl's home, for the same reason, without violating any law (even child abuse).


Depends on whether the force used or threatened is reasonable and proportional to the circumstances.

Whilst “reasonable chastisement” is a well-recognized defence by a parent or guardian against a charge of common assault upon their minor ward, I don't believe there's ever been a recognized parental immunity.
6.26.2009 6:21pm
whit:


The problem with this is pennicillin, birth control and antibiotics are controlled substances.


FALSE.

many people fail to understand there is a difference between prescription drugs and controlled substances. the sets intersect but they also differ.

let me give you a brief primer. free o charge.

some drugs require no script. these are referred to as OTC. nyquil is an example.

some drugs require a script, but are NOT controlled. controlled substances are a special class of drugs. there are five "schedules". drugs that require a script but are NOT controlled include penicillin, antibiotics, etc.

generally they are drugs not prone to abuse or recreational use.

see also: legend drugs.

if a drug say (BIG CAPITAL) "C", it's controlled.

for example, oxycodone w/apap is C-III (a schedule III controlled substance).

the highest schedule that can be legally prescribed is C-II. some C-II drugs are cocaine (used in nasal surgery), certain amphetamines, and oxycontin.

C-I are considered illegal PERIOD and cannot be prescribed. example: LSD.

so, flat out - you are wrong.

note also that controlled substances are regulated primarily by the DEA. prescription drugs that are not scheduled, as well as OTC drugs, are regulated by the FDA.

hth

i have a PDR, a drug identification bible, and several other resources immediately available to confirm this.

look up a drug in the PDR and you will see that some require a script, but are NOT controlled. the common symbol used is "Rx".

when they are scheduled, you will see "C-III" as in schedule III controlled substance.

note in some jurisdiction, possession of a prescription drug (that is not a controlled substance), without a script is a crime. usually a misdemeanor.

there are several nuances to this, for example, it is generally allowed to transport a small supply of prescription drugs that are NOT controlled over the border from mexico or canada. customs will even let you get away with (for example) tylenol with codeine cough syrup from canada, which IS controlled here, but is OTC there.

iirc, codeine cough syrup, since it's significantly diluted is C-IV.

but don't quote me on that.
6.26.2009 6:32pm
ReaderY:
Shooting a defendant is a bit different from merely searching; 4th Amendment considerations are not the only ones.

Perhaps there is an "extreme search" category falling between shooting and ordinary search which has some characteristics of search and some characteristics of shooting.

However, this is a search of "persons", a category specifically covered by the 4th Amendment's text. After all, the Framers regarded any search of the person as involving an indignity.
6.26.2009 6:38pm
methodact:
And in school, arguably, sans substantial rights, without property, the miniscule personal space, that teenie little boundry of privacy as dignity is a essentually a student's sole possession, and that sole possession was robbed from Redding.
6.26.2009 6:50pm
ohwilleke:
I don't think that many people would dispute that the girl's mother could do the same search, at the girl's home, for the same reason, without violating any law (even child abuse).

Depends on whether the force used or threatened is reasonable and proportional to the circumstances.

Whilst "reasonable chastisement" is a well-recognized defence by a parent or guardian against a charge of common assault upon their minor ward, I don't believe there's ever been a recognized parental immunity.


There is no indication in the facts that any threat of force other than being told authoritatively that saying no was not an option and that non-corporal punishment might result was involved.

This case was about the authority to insist that a search of a particular search take place. There was no indication, and indeed the fact recited facts rule out, the notion that the manner in which this strip search was conducted was any more invasive or forceable than any other strip search.

Also, I'd disagree that there has never been a recognized parental immunity. In early American history, it was not only legal to beat your wife, your children, your servants and your slaves with no meaningful judicial review, but a patriach could actually pay a public servant to do it for you if you didn't want to get your hands dirty. The immunity no longer exists, but it was widespread until about the time that the Married Women With Property Acts, worker's rights and children's rights laws started to be enacted in the late 19th century.

Even in places where the absolute criminal immunity was abolished, the absolute immunity from civil suit sometimes lasted longer and the enforcement of the criminal law duty was often limited in practice to situations much more narrow than the text of the laws themselves (much like marital rape laws now) for many decades.
6.26.2009 7:11pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Prescription drug abuse is becoming epidemic in this country, especially with the younger crowd.
Well, no. But why let facts get in the way of evidence-free hysteria?
6.26.2009 8:26pm
pintler:

when it comes to CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES, you should NOT carry them around without the script.


My wife and I are the oddballs who spend most of the summer hiking (starting in a few days, in fact!). Once every few years, when we remember, at one of our annual physicals we ask our GP for a prescription for whatever the latest wonder antibiotic is, and one of the opiate type painkillers, in case we have to hobble out 30 miles on a broken ankle, or wait a few days w/ a broken leg while one of us hikes out for help. After we fill it at the drugstore, we don't have a prescription to carry around. Keeping them in the original containers isn't smart, because after a few weeks getting rained on, dumped in rivers and what have you they would be spoiled. We repackage them in tiny nalgene bottles from REI, in our first aid kit. Are the particular ones we're carrying from a prescription for me or my wife? I haven't a clue.

Since I usually carry the first aid kit and bear gun at the same time, I suppose there is a substantial mandatory sentencing enhancement?

This country sure has changed since I was a kid. I do the same things I did then, but they weren't felonies then.
6.26.2009 9:17pm
Just visiting:
1. I do the same thing as pintler (carry an opiate when I travel anywhere remote) ever since I had an unscheduled motorcycle accident in Sierra Leone! I also sometimes dump all my pills (Cipro, painkillers, OTC acid reducers, diarhea drugs, etc.) into one bottle to save space. That is probably stupid if I am crossing international borders. Thanks for the reminder!

2. Whit said "Law enforcement agencies are cracking down. Consider yourself warned."

I will, but I will also take comfort in the fact that, as part of the "bundle of sticks" of my white privilege, I am much less likely to be Terry-stopped, pulled over on a pretext, rousted, or generally harassed by the cops (whether constitutionally or not). So, the reality for me is that I can probably walk around constantly with a couple percosets in my pocket and not have to worry about it. (As I did for a year or so when I had back pain and was never sure when it would flare up.)
6.26.2009 9:42pm
whit:

2. Whit said "Law enforcement agencies are cracking down. Consider yourself warned."

no, *i* did not say that. check again.
6.26.2009 10:35pm
methodact:
Another bid to take over role of parents Now Playing:

A survey of 655 US teenagers aged 13 to 18 [...] concludes that parents aren't equipped to manage their children's behaviour, so some other body should be prepared to step in and take control - which should prove a more controversial conclusion.
1) Article here.

2) Survey results here.
6.27.2009 1:10am
Herbert Stock (mail):
I don't get you guys - this was as clear a case of statutory rape as any I've ever read of - why aren't the assistant principal and nurses in jail followed by registration as sex offenders?

Why worry about did they know it was wrong - a long string of criminal cases have shown that not knowing it was statutory rape is irrelevant - ask the guy in Georgia who got 10 years for consensual oral sex with a minor - and in Reddings case these were people with a statutory duty of care
6.27.2009 2:02am
Fub:
Herbert Stock wrote at 6.27.2009 2:02am:
I don't get you guys - this was as clear a case of statutory rape as any I've ever read of - why aren't the assistant principal and nurses in jail followed by registration as sex offenders?
Maybe because there was no penetration. Rape laws have loopholes like that.
6.27.2009 5:37am
methodact:
Savana Redding was an honors student! The pretext for the search could have been anything, it just happened to work out to a single pain killer with the eqivalent dose of two Advils. But the object was to dominate her spirit, to break down her consciousness and destroy it. Has she been made whole after her years-long arduous fight?

My comment here is about a bid by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to ratchet up their authority even more. It remains to be seen if that group can even be rehabilitated. They have instilled so much shame, so much inhibition, sexual angst and repression, that it has largely caused the very bullying we hear about now.

I return to my reference about the passive millimeter wave full body scanners that are only now going into airports, but are planned for shopping malls and schools, etc., later. Their real object is humiliation. Instill sexual shame into the society, starting young, and then humiliate the populace in order to break down people's sense of self, of humanity, of consciousness, for total mind control, that is, if there's anything left.

Some commenters over at DU get it in this thread here, and while long, it is well worth the read, in order to even begin to understand, the dynamics of what is really going on here.
6.27.2009 1:46pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Maybe because there was no penetration.
Or even touching. The school officials had her undress and shake out her underwear; they didn't do it forcibly. It was an assault on her dignity, not her physical person.
6.27.2009 1:48pm
methodact:
To be fair, it is not just the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to blame for implementing the systemic shaming and sexual repression. And while some may want to believe that the result of bullies and mind-control is the product of unintended consequences, I assert that it is the deliberate consequence.

Here is a report on another practice in place that also feeds the design.
6.27.2009 3:21pm
xyzzy:
I would hope that it is obvious that schools do not have the same rights as parents with respect to a child, that is unless we have granted to right of the school to give the child up for adoption. While an absurd example, it does demonstrate that no one would really accept such a concept.
6.28.2009 10:38pm
Tracey:
I think the problem here is that Justice Thomas is talking about a police officer's discretion to conduct a routine search where a crime is suspected, and he's applying that rule to a school official's discretion to conduct an invasive search where violation of a school rule is suspected. Is Thomas actually suggesting that the court cannot distinguish between a crime and a high school policy? That is truly insane.
6.29.2009 11:17am

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