You Can Get Strip Searched for an Unpaid Parking Ticket: Thanks, U.S. Supreme Court

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Bad news if you don't like getting dehumanized: The U.S. Supreme Court just ruled 5-4 to OK strip searches for any offense.

What this means: if you get booked for an offense as minor as an unpaid parking ticket, you might have to bare all for corrections officers before being admitted to jail.

Yep, you read that right. Something as minor as an unpaid parking ticket can require that you suffer an immense indignity -- including cavity searches -- without having been convicted of any crime.

And jail officials don't even have to suspect that you're carrying contraband.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion, said that "every detainee who will be admitted to the general population may be required to undergo a close visual inspection while undressed" and that this does not violate Fourth Amendment prohibitions against illegal searches and seizure.

But the dissenting opinion decried the decision as disproportionately invasive.

Richard D. Emery -- the lawyer who handled two landmark lawsuits against NYC's strip search policies, totaling $76 million in settlements -- tells Runnin' Scared: "It gives jails carte blanche, even on the most minor offenses."

Emery emphasizes that today's decision applies even to crimes such as driving without a license or having an open container in public.

Indeed, the incident that prompted today's decision seems like something out of a dystopic sci-fi novel. The Times sums it up as follows:

"The Supreme Court case arose from the arrest of Albert W. Florence in New Jersey in 2005. Mr. Florence was in the passenger seat of his BMW when a state trooper pulled his wife, April, over for speeding. A records search revealed an outstanding warrant based on an unpaid fine. (The information was wrong; the fine had been paid.) "

Florence got held in jail for a week and was twice subjected to strip searches. He was told to "squat and cough" and to spread his cheeks. Again, all this was over a parking ticket which had actually been paid. But now, it's the law of the land: Emery explains that the ruling reps the Court's interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. What this means is that the only thing that could prevent blanket strip searches would be state-level policy making.

Jonathan Moore, a veteran civil rights lawyer in New York, feels that part of the ruling, however, might protect against unreasonable searches, since it differentiates between pre-trial detainees -- who likely don't need to be searched -- and inmates headed for a jail's general population.

Today's news comes shortly after renewed criticism of the NYPD's strip search techniques -- many have complained that the department isn't following its own guidelines and still wantonly searches prisoners.

Brandon Garrett, a professor at the University of Virginia specializing in federal criminal law, says that "Prison facilities are allowed to do searches to keep their facilities safe and they have to balance security concerns with the privacy rights of inmates."

But, the "language about how that balance has to be made is somewhat vague," he says.

Check back to Runnin' Scared for updates.

Follow Victoria Bekiempis @vicbekiempis.

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Payton_vege
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i2luvmyusa
i2luvmyusa

Do illigals have more rights then American Citizens? God help us if Obama is not defeated in Nov., and has the opportunity  to appoint another Surpreme Court Justice. Kiss your Freedom and the Constitution  Goodby..

ISAAC THE NOT SO BLIND !
ISAAC THE NOT SO BLIND !

It happened again so just one more comment. The next time that you find youself in the situation that your about to be given a felling-up by some overly ambitious kinky pervert that is elated in violating you bobies privacy tell him you gay an that if he is going to fell you-up. Pleases, please, make it an outstanding  ! And look right in his eyes when you say it. And blow him a kiss. And warn him due to you last meal that he should take great care around you fanny. That you may defecate prematurely , and remember smile! "My windows has been compromised, and must shut down. ARRIVEDERCI !

ISAAC THE NOT SO BLIND !
ISAAC THE NOT SO BLIND !

Dear brave, fearless, courageous, valiant, and bold young man, but Disgruntled! Welcome home. But welcome to the real world, of E PLURIBU UNUM!  I would gladly perfer Diana Ross and the Supremes than the Repuplican Supreme Court that gave letters and numbers on paper = corporations personhood. More power than you my hero patriot. You put you life on the line for me and millions of others. I'm old and I've lost 37 dear brave friends to Agent Orange. And 17 of my friends sons to that hell-holes Iraq and Afghanistan. They do not want our way of life. They want to go back 1,000 years or more.. And the only thing that can change that is a couple well placed atomic bombs. And the U.S.A. will not do that. America will choose to put your lives on the line. And then when you young heros come home what awaits you?Ask God FOR WISDOM AND STRENTH TO GIUDE YOU. i CARE ABOUT YOU AND SO DO MANY MILLIONS MORE. DO NOT BELIEVE IN THE LIES! And why when I Post out does my sceen read 'Windows has been compromised, and must shut down? Only in America! Keep strong.

Disgruntled Vet
Disgruntled Vet

YEP America where you have rights. the right to be murdered by Muslims  who have the right NOT to be searched when boarding a plane while all non Muslims have the right to be strip searched boarding an airplane and now additionally by any perv cop or jail guard who wants to yank his crank thinking of how he can now legally violate your privacy and explore your body for his kinky perverted thrills .

Name a Commie country that does this! NONE!

YEP WE GET STEADILY WORSE EACH DAY IN THE GRAND OLE  USA

Johnny 99
Johnny 99

Now if Kennedy can just destroy Obamacare, he's really had quite the week at being the world's biggest asshole. Thanks dick. 

Al Swearengen
Al Swearengen

Time for simple answers to stupid questions!

1. No, illegal aliens do not have more rights than American citizens. Only an idiot would think that.

2. Republican-appointed Justices just knocked down a bit of our freedom. The Justice Obama appointed voted for us keeping that bit of freedom. Yet, you blame Obama for the loss of freedom? Nice consistency there.

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Al Swearengen
Al Swearengen

I missed where Muslims have some pulled-out-of-your-ass "right" to not be searched getting on planes among the 1,000s of stories of Muslims getting searched getting on planes.  Makes perfect sense.

Penny
Penny

I hope you realize the majority in the supreme court are your republican comrads.

arbie
arbie

 As assholes go, Obama is the example to emulate. A john without t.p.

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