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Supreme Court rules cavity search for jaywalking completely reasonable

April 4, 2012

In a ruling that flew largely under the radar of national news, the Supreme Court of the US has ruled that police can strip search anyone under arrest, no matter how small the offense.

“You ever seen that movie ‘Judge Dread’?” asked Clarence Thomas, “Did he need probable cause?” 

Constitutional experts are not sure what to make of the ruling. On one hand the Constitution would seem to explicitly prohibit such practices:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and Warrants shall not be issued, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. (4th Amendment)

But on the other hand, the Constitution is a really old document. So old, in fact, that the old-timey English used in it is almost incomprehensible without some kind of translation.

“The Conservative wing of the Court,” said Justice Kennedy, “believes that what they meant by ‘reasonable’ back in the eighteenth century is totally different than what we mean by reasonable now. Therefore, it’s reasonable to perform an anal or vaginal cavity search on anyone under arrest for any type of offense.”

Philosophers, lawyers, and scholars will continue to debate the murky depths of the ruling. In the meantime, have some lube ready for those special occasions when you meet someone in uniform with a twinkle in his eye.

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One Comment
  1. NC Coot permalink

    A fundamentalist reading of any document is fraught with peril.

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