Fourth Amendment Blog on Strip Searches

Courts, it seems, are obsessed with strip searches.  In the conservative Fifth Circuit, misdemeanor arrestees may not be strip searched without reasonable suspicion.  (More here.)

This is a weird issue for me.  I understand the "inherent dignity" of mankind arguments.  Yet I showered in a locker room since Junior High.  What's the big deal about someone strip searching you?

During Basic Training, I was strip searched for contraband.  Most of the guys there (all-male Basic Training) were high school athletes.  None of us thought it bizarre.

Wins for the Fourth Amendment are so rare, that I shouldn't take a contrarian view.  Take your wins where you can.

Probably the answer is in culture.  If a woman takes her top off in public, people freak.  People in the United States are uncomfortable with a woman breast feeding.  Thus, there's something "special" about being naked.

Intellectually, I see the point.  I don't agree with the arguments, however.


  capn sunshine

3:35 PM

the thing is, you have to have one standard. and the right to keep your privates private is well entrenched in tradition. isn't it?


3:38 PM

but they want one standard, and the right to keep your privates private is well entrenched in tradition....except in times of war and high school sports


6:34 AM

Those situations are different. You're voluntarily exposing yourself as an athlete or mother. But it's another for someone to use show of authority or force to make you get naked. It's offensive and humiliating.