The Supreme Court said Thursday school officials acted illegally when they strip-searched an Arizona teenage girl looking for prescription-strength ibuprofen.Justice Souter's opinion is what a reasonable person would assume -- and then there is Clarence Thomas.
In an 8-1 ruling, the justices said that school officials violated the Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches when they ordered Savana Redding to remove her clothes and shake out her underwear.
Redding was 13 when Safford Middle School officials in rural eastern Arizona conducted the search. They were looking for pills — the equivalent of two Advils. The district bans prescription and over-the-counter drugs and the school was acting on a tip from another student.
The school's search of Redding's backpack and outer clothes was permissible, the court said. But the justices said that officials went too far when they asked to search her underwear. [...]
"What was missing from the suspected facts that pointed to Savana was any indication of danger to the students from the power of the drugs or their quantity, and any reason to suppose that Savana was carrying pills in her underwear," Justice David Souter wrote in the majority opinion. "We think that the combination of these deficiencies was fatal to finding the search reasonable."
I have a wicked vision that I simply can't get out of my mind, that of Justice Thomas reading the case in hand, with his other hand firmly planted under his robe. He is such a jack-ass.
In a dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas found the search legal and said the court previously had given school officials "considerable leeway" under the Fourth Amendment in school settings.No one except Clarence Thomas, the jerk.
Officials had searched the girl's backpack and found nothing, Thomas said. "It was eminently reasonable to conclude the backpack was empty because Redding was secreting the pills in a place she thought no one would look," Thomas said.