Ready to be strip-searched for a 'dog at large' charge? How about an unpaid parking ticket? Well, that's what our pals, the Supremes, have allowed with their ruling yesterday in the case Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders.
Albert Florence was arrested after a cop pulled over his wife for speeding. Albert and their and 4 year old were in the car. For whatever reason, the cop ran a computer check on Albert and found an arrest warrant for an unpaid fine, which in fact had been paid. He was arrested and held for a week, and was strip searched on his intake. After proving that he'd been wrongly arrested in the first place, he filed a civil rights case arguing that persons arrested for minor offenses cannot be subjected to invasive searches unless prison officials have reason to suspect concealment of weapons, drugs, or other contraband. The trial court granted him a judgment, ruling that “strip-searching” minor offenders without reasonable suspicion violates the Fourth Amendment. After an appellate court reversed that decision, the Supremes jumped in to give us our latest dose of Police State. Now everyone--you and I and our grannies--can be strip searched if arrested on any offense, no matter how petty, because the Constitution won't be allowed to "second-guess" the judgment of the cops on who might be dangerous. Even if the cops are just having a few jollies. And even if, like Albert, you actually didn't do anything illegal.
So, you better make sure old Fido's on his leash--that is, unless you like the fascist overreaching governmental sexual assault kind of thing. God bless America--ain't it wonderful to be FREE?