Skip to content

Fourth Amendment gone

You can now be strip-searched for any offense, however minor. Unpaid ticket, misdemeanor off-leash dog, traffic stop. Or maybe it’s just for use at protests. Protest some government policy, get arrested at a demonstration either to make a point, or just because wrong place wrong time, and you get pepper-sprayed, abused, and strip-searched, thrown into jail for some extra-judicial beatings, taserings, and buggery. All pre-trial, much less post-conviction.

Add that to your list of extra-judicial, unofficial, un-appealable, pre-conviction assaults on your inalienable rights. Right up there with being on a no-fly list, pepper spray, Terry stops, frisks, tasering, arbitrary detainments, warrantless taps on your cell phone and email, the choice of sexually explicit pat-downs at the airport or exposure to untested and uncalibrated radiation machines, buggery, and “resisting arrest.”

That’s just if you’re good. If you’re bad, or if someone thinks you’re bad (same thing – see “no trial” above), you can look for extraordinary renditions to a secret Polish prison, or just getting whacked by drone with no trial, warrant, or evidence needed [2].

And you think you live in America…

p.s. The two best quotes from the NYT comments:

“The party of limited government and unlimited government strip searches. Makes total sense!”

–danfromtexas – Arlington, TX

“If Kennedy doesn’t even want to consider “second guessing” what the jailers are doing, then why even have courts at all? Oh, wait- I forgot. He thinks courts are to set health care policy.”

–S.G – Pittsburgh

Or to put it succinctly, you might have the right to be free of the financial imposition of the government mandating that you pay for your healthcare [1], but you do not have the right to be free of the imposition of government demanding you be strip-searched for a traffic stop.

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 no Warrants shall issue, 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.

[1] and not the rest of us, when you show up at the emergency room demanding free care, or go bankrupt.

[2] I didn’t put links for everything, but they’re easy to find.