Wednesday, April 22, 2009

There's an amendment between the third and the fifth? Really?

Finally, some good news from the SCOTUS

The sad thing is, this really shouldn't seem like such a big deal, it's just that it's so rare that anything involving the fourth amendment turns out the way I would want it to. Since the Herring decision, I had lost hope.

who thinks that you should tell your children that if anyone at school ever wants to strip search them, they should demand that the school call you immediately and keep repeating the words "law suit" until you arrive, no matter what the SCOTUS says.


Lizard Eater said...

Yeah, I'm keeping an eye on the Redding case, though the comments are looking discouraging.

This idea that sorry, but legally, children aren't people ... ugh.

Joel Monka said...

Wow- I had no idea that Ibuprophen was such an addictive drug that people smuggled it in their body cavities... I wonder what the street value per tablet is- I have a bottle of 500 on my desk! Of course, it was the dreaded "prescription strength" dope they were looking for. Which is chemically identical to the over the counter, the only difference being that you have to take six of the little red pills instead of one white one- but that doesn't matter when a school has a "zero intelligence" policy on anything.

One other legal point bothers me; the school's lawyers are asking that the kid not be allowed to sue on the grounds that the law was unclear. I believe that immunity from lawsuit undercuts the very basis of law and civilization itself. Mankind has developed only two ways of handling disputes: the courts, or the clenched fist. If you rule out court action, what's left?

ogre said...

All this sort of thing was among the reasons for our option (third choice, Joel) to not put the boys into school.

Homeschooling means that they aren't at risk of having their rights violated merely because they are present on a school campus as a result of a legal mandate to become educated.

The only analogous circumstances are mandatory drug testing when seeking a job (which one can refuse), or the not-optional loss of civil rights when in prison. The courts are clearly well down the line to declaring schools the sibling of prison in terms of personal freedoms and civil rights.

This is the appropriate place to just say no.I can't think of any place where someone not in custody of the police, suspected of a crime, can be searched. Oh, wait--there's the TSA, but I'm going to skip that particular rant for the moment....

I think I'll advise my sons that in the event I drop dead and they find themselves doing time in a state education facility, that they have my pre-posthumous permission to refuse, to threaten, and to commit violence on anyone who attempts to forcibly search them. (Since they're currently of adult and larger than normal adult size, that ought to suffice as a threat).

"Over your dead body."

Comrade Kevin said...

Some of these systems think they need to resort to any methods to "protect other students".

This got worse after Columbine. Since I was a senior in high school at the time, the difference between before and after was quite shocking.

PG said...

I believe that immunity from lawsuit undercuts the very basis of law and civilization itself. Mankind has developed only two ways of handling disputes: the courts, or the clenched fist. If you rule out court action, what's left?The idea is that if a government agent acts in good faith believing he's following the law, and that belief is reasonable, he shouldn't be penalized for carrying out his duties. It's part of the idea of not prosecuting the CIA agents who tortured after they were told by Yoo et al. that it was perfectly legal to waterboard people -- the CIA agents acted in good faith. (The lawyers, on the other hand...)

In the case of the school, once the ruling is made that such searches are illegal, no one can bring that good faith defense again and if someone does the same thing, they'll lose in court. But given that there's a circuit split on this issue (the 9th says search her, the 2nd says don't), a school official can reasonably and in good faith believe that s/he's following the law.

Joel Monka said...

Somehow, I just can't bring myself to call a body cavity search of a 13 year old for an ibuprophen, on the unsubatntiated word of a single tip "acting in good faith". The courts will probably call it that in terms of the law, but then it has been noted that the law is an ass. Is it permitted to say in a court finding that regardless of the legal position, the court finds the assistant principal involved too stupid to be allowed near children?

Who is "Yoo"?