Will the Supreme Court Endorse Advil Strip Searches?

On Friday the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of Savana Redding, the Arizona student who was strip-searched in 2003, when she was 13, by public school officials looking for contraband ibuprofen. That's probably not good news, since last year the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that the search, which discovered nary a painkiller in Savana's crotch or cleavage, violated her Fourth Amendment rights. Eight of the 11 judges agreed the search was unconstitutional, and six agreed that the law was clear enough at the time to make Kerry Wilson, the assistant principal who ordered it, ineligible for qualified immunity. The second part of the decision, which left Wilson open to liability, is especially vulnerable: If the trial judge and three of the appeals court judges thought the search was permissible under the relevant precedents, was it fair to expect an assistant principal to know better? But the Supreme Court could well go further, endorsing the kind of egregious trespass that Redding suffered in the name of protecting kids from drugs (even, as in this case, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). As I argued last summer, that would not be a huge leap from the Court's decisions approving random urine testing of public school students.

My columns on the case are here and here. The 9th Circuit's decision is here (PDF). The ACLU, which is representing Savana and her mother, has background here.

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  • Lefiti||

    Pay attention to meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  • Elemenope||

    On search and seizure, more than almost any other area of law, SCOTUS is nothing but a bunch of government-fluffing douchebags.

    I expect nothing but misery to come out of this case.

  • ||

    I fully expect that by at least 6-3, they're going to overturn the 9th Circuit and say the search was acceptable. There's no way in hell this case would have been granted review if they weren't going to strike the 9th Circuit decision.

  • Seer||

    We need liberals on the court. They're less authoritarian (sometimes) on civil liberties. It's not like conservative justices have the opportunity, or the chutzpah, to overturn economic regulation of dubious constitutionality.

  • Jozef||

    And any updates on the principal? Was he charged with pedophilia yet?

  • jtuf||

    Jozef, the principal should be charged. Can you imagine if some guy at the park tried that stunt. "I swear officer, I was just looking for tynenol."

  • ||

    "Cool your jowls, Nixon. You may not like it that Dr. Zoidberg desecrated a flag. You might even find the image of it festering in his bowels somehow offensive. But the right to freedom of expression is guaranteed by the Earth constitution."

    "Maybe so. But I know a place where the constitution doesn't mean squat!"

    (cuts to Supreme Court)

  • Elemenope||

    Two doctrines that need to be shoved out an airlock, just from this case:

    In loco parentis

    Qualified Immunity

  • ktc2||

    This will be overturned "for the children" so they can know the joys of being strip searched by strangers for no real reason anytime a principal decides he needs some stimulation.

  • The Democratic Republican||

    An overturning of the appeals court decision would be grounds for revolution. Period.

  • ||

    Clarification: The principal didn't strip search her, but rather ordered a school nurse to do. Arranging to have some molested is no lesser crime than doing the molesting under order in my book, though.

  • Elemenope||

    An overturning of the appeals court decision would be grounds for revolution. Period.

    Revolution is *never* about the grounds. (OMFG, they're taxing tea!) It's about the *guns*.

  • ||

    Liberals on the Court generally wave the white flag on most government actions. We're better off with center-right justices, because they usually think government should be structurally limited to some extent and still believe in rights that liberals often like to weaken with other "rights." Like freedom of speech.

    Of course, what we really need are libertarians on the Court. I can think of one black woman that Obama should nominate when Stevens retires next week. Actually, there's talk that Stevens wants the record for the longest SCOTUS tenure, so he may hold out until 2011.

    Without libertarians, the best we can hope for is a mixed court, with few, or better yet zero, justices willing to give the government carte blanche.

  • Elemenope||

    The principal didn't strip search her, but rather ordered a school nurse to do.

    The part where I'm fuzzy is the part where the school nurse, instead of saying "go fuck yourself, boss", instead said "strip searching a child of Advil; what a fantastic idea!"

  • ||

    jtuf and Jozef

    The principal ordered the search. It was performed by a female nurse.

    The search was a gross violation of the girl's privacy and an assault on her dignity. The principal and the nurse ought to lose their jobs, IMO. But any criminal charge beyond common assault is hardly justified.

    I'd be happy to just see them be permanently blacklisted from any teaching position or any other position of responsibility over children.

  • ||

    Uh, LMNOP, school nurses are literally the bottom of the barrel. I doubt she even thought about it and just did it.

  • ||

    He even has the nerve
    To tax our cup of tea.
    To put it kindly, King,
    We really don't agree.

    Gonna show you how we feel.
    We're gonna dump this tea
    And turn this harbor into
    The biggest cup of tea in history!

    They wanted no more Mother England.
    They knew the time had come
    For them to take command.
    It's very clear you're being unfair, King,
    No matter what you say, we won't obey.
    Gonna hold a revolution now, King,
    And we're gonna run it all our way
    With no more kings...

  • ||

    I had a school nurse send me back to class with proximal bone of my right big toe broken into seven pieces. Limped my way to the pay phone and called my mother. She read them the riot act. It was fun. And then I vomited in the principal's office on the way out.

  • ||

    Oh, I fully expect the pervs to sign off on strip searches for students.

    It's for the children and the pedophiles that serve in our government.

    I remember my folks used to teach me to have respect for police and government officials. Those are lessons I'm not going to pass on.

    I'm going to tell my son or daughter (due this Summer!) to view every government employee as they would a potential sex offender.

  • Elemenope||

    Uh, LMNOP, school nurses are literally the bottom of the barrel. I doubt she even thought about it and just did it.

    Oh I know. But since when did *following orders* place a person below the threshold of scorn around here? Everyone's bitching (rightly) about the principal, but where's the anger for the toady nurse?

  • Elemenope||

    And then I vomited in the principal's office on the way out.

    Heh. Awesome parting shot (even if involuntary).

  • Urkobold™||

    MMMMMMMMMMMM, SCHOOL NURSES.

  • ||

    I am easy puker. Seriously, I throw up all the time. And I'm a serial puker. If someone throws up near me, I vomit spontaneously. I wish my body was covered by a lemon law.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Everyone's bitching (rightly) about the principal, but where's the anger for the toady nurse?

    Our bad. He was in the one in charge, so we forget about the foot soldier.

    Fuck that nurse, yo.

  • ||

    "Cool your jowls, Nixon. You may not like it that Dr. Zoidberg desecrated a flag. You might even find the image of it festering in his bowels somehow offensive. But the right to freedom of expression is guaranteed by the Earth constitution."

    "Maybe so. But I know a place where the constitution doesn't mean squat!"

    (cuts to Supreme Court)



    We find, by a vote of 6-3, that flag eating is not protected by the Constitution.

    (6-3? I beat the spread!)

  • ||

    I wish, Urky. Most of mine looked like this.

  • Seward||

    Elemenope,

    Strangely enough, the tea tax would have ended the crown granted monopoly on tea sales, and thus would have made tea less dear in the colonies. This of course angered two groups: those with a monopoly and those who were smuggling in tea. You will find that they were the ones bitching about the tea tax.

  • T||

    The search was a gross violation of the girl's privacy and an assault on her dignity. The principal and the nurse ought to lose their jobs, IMO. But any criminal charge beyond common assault is hardly justified.

    Learn me some law, then. If I randomly find some 13 year old girl and perform a strip search on her, am I gonna get charged with simple assault? Or do I get a whole list of charges that are going to place me on the sex offender list for the rest of my life? I know which way I'm betting.

    Government employees are not a protected class. In fact, since they are abusing the position of trust we so graciously grant them, they should be held to a stricter standard. If it gets me locked up, it should get them locked up for twice as long.

  • Elemenope||

    Strangely enough, the tea tax would have ended the crown granted monopoly on tea sales, and thus would have made tea less dear in the colonies. This of course angered two groups: those with a monopoly and those who were smuggling in tea. You will find that they were the ones bitching about the tea tax.

    Yup. Never mind the fact that the tax was levied in order, in part, to pay for the cost of fighting the French and Indian War, from which the colonists profited greatly (and paid nearly nothing for).

  • Urkobold™||

    SUGARFREE,

    ALAS, THE URKOBOLD IS AWARE OF THE FAILINGS OF PUBLIC EDUCATION. THAT IS WHY THE URKOBOLD IS WORKING TO ESTABLISH A NEW, PRIVATE ALTERNATIVE TO GOVERNMENT-COERCED INDOCTRINATION.

    HERE'S A TYPICAL TEACHER RECENTLY RECRUITED BY THE URKOBOLD. HIGHLY COMPENSATED, WELL EDUCATED, AND A MASTER--OR THE URKOBOLD SHOULD SAY MISTRESS--OF DISCIPLINE.

  • Father Goodbar, S. J.||

    I hope they overturn this. I worry so much about all my altar boys freebasing Advil.

  • BakedPenguin||

    ...school nurses are literally the bottom of the barrel.

    Superintendent Chalmers: Seymour, why is a cafeteria worker dressed as the school nurse?

    Lunch Lady Doris: I get two paychecks this way. *lights cigarette*

  • ||

    I am easy puker. Seriously, I throw up all the time. And I'm a serial puker. If someone throws up near me, I vomit spontaneously.

    You must be fun at drinking games.

    I wish my body was covered by a lemon law.

    Instead of the eczema, pustules, and sores that you have now?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Epi - it's called "the disease of the lepers".

  • ||

    Urkobold has my vote.

  • ||

    What an excellent opportunity for Obama to break some new ground by having somebody from one of his many legal offices (AG? Office of Legal Counsel? Solicitor General?) file an amicus brief supporting the 9th Circuit's decision. I would be genuinely impressed by that.

  • ||

    Epi - it's called "the disease of the lepers".

    You're calling NutraSweet a rabbit?

    Oh, you said "lepers" and not "lepus".

  • kablammo||

    "But any criminal charge beyond common assault is hardly justified."

    Oh I don't know. If it were my kid I'd think nothing short of a forceful application of a sledgehammer to the base of the skull for both the principal and the nurse would be justified. But hey, I'm just a big softie.

    The real question here is not what criminal charges can be leveled, but rather will qualified immunity preclude a civil judgement against the assistant principal. Garnishing her wages to cover a civil judgement for the next 10-20 years will give her a lot more time to think about the utter stupidity of ordering that search than a few months or a year in the clink.

  • ||

    I thought he said le pers.

  • ||

    Hey, I can hold my liquor. Especially for a guy constantly teetering on the edge of death.

    I hate my wife's second husband.

  • ||

    It's very simple. We must uphold the rights of teachers and McDonald's managers to perform strip searches to compensate for the fact that no one was sending nudie cell-phone pics and getting BJs in the back of the class when we were utes.

    Thus it must be, thus it shall be.

  • KipEsquire||

    I'm on your side of course, but let's be true to the facts and note that this was prescription-strength ibuprofen and that the girl had a previous record of illegally selling the pills on campus.

    Why open yourself up to charges that you're omitting key elements of the incident?

  • ||

    R C Dean-

    So would I.

    TAO-

    If the Obama aministration indeed files an amicus brief urging the Supremes to affirm the 9th Circuit's decision, I will be impressed. If the brief urges repeal of the doctrine of qualified immunity, then that would consititute "change you [I] can believe in".

  • ||

    The doctrine of qualified immunity:

    (1) Is not contained in the constitution.

    (2) Represents a power grab by the courts, as the constitution does not authorize the judiciary to establish doctrines that qualify the exercise and protection of individual liberties.

  • ||

    there's talk that Stevens wants the record for the longest SCOTUS tenure, so he may hold out until 2011.

    This makes me want to drive to Washington and... admire the many beautiful government buildings. Umm, yeah, that's it.

  • ||

    prescription-strength ibuprofen

    [Gasp] That might be like taking 2 or even 3 of the over-the-counter pills!

    I don't care if she had a pound of heroin down her pants, the school nurse has no right to make a 13-year-old strip to her skivvies and afford a peek at her ladyflower. Call the cops if you think there is reasonable suspicion. Get the girls parents involved.

  • ||

    I hate my wife's second husband.

    You just gave me a great idea. You're located in Lexington, right?

  • Warty||

    Instead of the eczema, pustules, and sores that you have now?

    I must have done something to offend the URKOBOLD, because I discovered today that I have a zit on my taint. Not cool. NOT COOL!

  • ||

    this was prescription-strength ibuprofen

    Do you even understand why it is "prescription strength" of something that you can get over the counter?

  • ||

    P Brooks-

    Any buildings in particular?

  • ||

    I hate you most of all, Episiarch.

  • the innominate one||

    sure, they strip-searched her, but did they body cavity search her? maybe she hid the Advil in her uterus or rectum.

  • ||

    I hate you most of all, Episiarch.

    I can see the future, so don't I know it! She squeals a lot.

  • ||

    KipEsquire,

    You are incorrect. A different girl had the history of selling pills. Not the plaintiff.

  • T||

    Do you even understand why it is "prescription strength" of something that you can get over the counter?

    Because nobody is smart enough to take four 200mg pills instead of one 800mg pill!

    I mean, if us dumb paratroopers could figure this out 20 years ago, I'm sure the kids in high school can.

  • ||

    I take microdoses of every single drug on the market with my drinking water every day. I think I'm getting superpowers.

  • ChrisO||

    The doctrine of qualified immunity:

    (1) Is not contained in the constitution.

    (2) Represents a power grab by the courts, as the constitution does not authorize the judiciary to establish doctrines that qualify the exercise and protection of individual liberties.


    Sovereign immunity, of which qualified version for govt. employees is merely a subset, is part of the preexisting powers the state governments had before the Constitution was ratified. As such, the Constitution would have had to expressly take away the states' sovereign immunity, and it does not do so.

    Not that I'm a big fan of qualified immunity. It's pretty much an excuse for dull-witted bureaucrats to do evil things and get away with it.

  • ||

    Because nobody is smart enough to take four 200mg pills instead of one 800mg pill!

    Actually, it's because of stomach irritation caused by ibuprofen. One big pill has less surface area than 4 small ones, decreasing dissolve rate and decreasing stomach irritation.

    That's what the prescription is for. Kip.

  • ||

    If that ever happened to my daughter several people would be dead as a result. Basically whomever my rampaged brain felt deserved it, in whatever manner I felt compelled. Think, A Time To Kill.

    While teenage boys (and most Reason commentors) are already a concern in the back of my mind, all government agents are front and center and have been since the day she was born less than two years ago.

  • sage||

    Actually, it's because of stomach irritation caused by ibuprofen. One big pill has less surface area than 4 small ones, decreasing dissolve rate and decreasing stomach irritation.

    Huh, I didn't know that. But most OTC NSAIDS are buffered as well for the same reason, no?

  • T||

    While teenage boys (and most Reason commentors) are already a concern in the back of my mind,

    Build the gun collection now, Dad. I find it invaluable for scaring the crap out of the yutes that come sniffing around. There's nothing like cleaning the arsenal when young men come to call. It's cliche, but effective. Any of the ones that are too dumb to be scared of the crazy old man aren't ones she would date anyway.

  • ||

    But most OTC NSAIDS are buffered as well for the same reason, no?

    I think buffering only goes on with aspirin. But yes, they are all gastrointestinal irritants.

  • sage||

    Well, I was talking about the coating on Advil, for example. Or is that for some sort of slow-release component?

  • ||

    If that ever happened to my daughter several people would be dead as a result. Basically whomever my rampaged brain felt deserved it, in whatever manner I felt compelled. Think, A Time To Kill.



    You're glad they died and you hope they burn in hell?

    Seriously, I'm going to be a first-time dad in May, and we found out last month that it's a girl. I'm already worried about her as a teenager. And stuff like this doesn't help matters.

  • T||

    Well, I was talking about the coating on Advil, for example. Or is that for some sort of slow-release component?

    I always thought that was because otherwise it's difficult to swallow and it tastes bad.

  • ||

    Well, I was talking about the coating on Advil, for example. Or is that for some sort of slow-release component?

    I think all of it is part of trying to minimize GI irritation. As I understand it, it doesn't do much.

    I'm already worried about her as a teenager. And stuff like this doesn't help matters.

    What you should really be worried about are guys like me.

    But why are you so worried in the first place? Is your daughter going to be so naive and stupid that she gets hurt? Don't you have some faith in your ability to raise an intelligent, responsible daughter? I've never gotten this fear. I'd think that if I had a daughter I'd raise her to be able to take care of herself and think for herself.

  • Elemenope||

    I think buffering only goes on with aspirin. But yes, they are all gastrointestinal irritants.

    Because buffering describes a specific way of neutralizing fairly strong acids (of which aspirin, i.e. acetylsalicylic acid, is one), whereas most NSAIDS are not. Some, such as ibuprofen, are extremely weak acids, and so do not require buffering (the gastrointestinal irritation is by another mechanism).

  • sage||

    The fear thing is natural. My daughter will be seven in a few months. Her teen years are a long way off, but my plan is to trust but verify. If she's behaving she'll have more freedom. Otherwise I'll chain her to the plumbing.

    Lots of actvities help too. Right now she's in swimming lessons, piano, and Spanish.

  • ||

    the gastrointestinal irritation is by another mechanism

    COX-1 inhibition, which reduces inflammation-regulating prostaglandins.

    The fear thing is natural.

    Don't take this the wrong way, but I find it a little condescending. Parents have much less fear for boys, yet boys are way more likely to do crazy shit and take risks. It's a combination of the dad thinking "holy shit I know what I was like when I was a teen and that's what'll be after her!" and "girls need more protection". Both of which disregard the daughter's intelligence and sense.

  • ||

    Episiarch,

    Spoken like the male predator that you are. I'll just shoot you or your analogue if you approach my daughter.

  • ||

    Episiarch: "Excuse me miss, I think you dropped your purse."

    Father Pro Libertate: Empties firearm in Episiarch's general direction.

  • sage||

    Don't take this the wrong way, but I find it a little condescending. Parents have much less fear for boys, yet boys are way more likely to do crazy shit and take risks.

    Do you mean the fear for girls? Because I was talking about the fear for your kids (both genders). I have a son too. He's only two, and he's hurt himself way more than his sister has in her whole life so far. I have to keep a much closer eye toward him than her at the same age.

  • ||

    ProL, you'd never see me coming. I'm like a ninja, but without sucking my balls up into my abdomen.

  • ||

    I always thought that was because otherwise it's difficult to swallow and it tastes bad.

    Too easy.

  • ||

    I bet if the mother tried to file sexual assault on a child under 14 charges against any of that lot , the police would balk.

  • ||

    Episiarch,

    That's a myth. The truth is that ninjas can suck their balls, period. That's why you don't hear much about them any more.

  • ||

    Because I was talking about the fear for your kids (both genders).

    I was talking about inordinate fear for girls, usually of a sexual variety. Basically, that they have to be protected from the bad men and can't determine it for themselves.

    Honestly, in my experience, the more daddy wants a girl to stay away from a boy, the more she likes him (or thinks she does). Dad is shooting himself in the foot.

    Smart teenage boys will make sure her daddy hates them.

  • sage||

    "If I could reach, I'd never leave the house!"

  • sage||

    Smart teenage boys will make sure her daddy hates them.

    Ah, but if you read your Sun Tzu you will know that it's OK to hate the boy so long as the girl does not get wind of it.

  • ||

    The truth is that ninjas can suck their balls, period.

    The truth is that ninjas get your daughters to...ok, I'll stop. I don't want to go too far.

    Ah, but if you read your Sun Tzu you will know that it's OK to hate the boy so long as the girl does not get wind of it.

    That would make you the smart daddy. As long as you can truly conceal it.

  • ||

    ChrisD-

    What pre-existing state powers? Those that may have existed under the Crown? All of the same were washed away by the revolution and the constitutions of the individual states. Which state expressly provided in its constituiton that (1) state actors had such qualified immunity and (2) courts had the right to create such a doctrine and thereby vitiate individual liberties?

  • ||

    The day I can't outwit and crush teen-aged boys in two seconds flat all while convincing my daughter of her prospective mate's unsuitability is the day I retire to a nunnery in Canada. I know, I've got a teen-aged boy. I outwit and crush him for entertainment purposes on a daily basis.

  • sage||

    I've got a teen-aged boy. I outwit and crush him for entertainment purposes on a daily basis.

    We're not talking about worlds of warcraft or Cribbage, ProL.

  • ||

    I know, I've got a teen-aged boy. I outwit and crush him for entertainment purposes on a daily basis.

    Maybe this just says something about your progeny? This may also factor in to why you feel the need to protect your daughters.

    (ducks)

  • ||

    Nor am I.

  • ||

    Step son. My biological daughter, on the other hand, has the Force and will choke you to death. After I shoot you.

    Kids today lack the destructive power that we had. They're weak and have trouble making toast on their own, let alone breaking through the safety seals on intelligent parents. However, I will grant that not many parents are of the top order, either.

  • ||

    And my wife will kick your ass for insulting her children. She's a power to be reckoned with on a global political scale.

  • T||

    Basically, that they have to be protected from the bad men and can't determine it for themselves.

    Honestly? My biggest fear, since my child is not biologically mine, are the concerns of every parent who has a daughter with daddy issues. I am terrified that she will drag home something like her biological father. He's an entertaining guy to drink a beer with, but a complete fucking disaster as a husband and a parent.


    Smart teenage boys will make sure her daddy hates them.

    Bad plan for people like me. If I truly hate one of young miss's suitors, he's going to suffer an unfortunate accident that results in his body never being found. But your general point is valid. We never express open disapproval, we just call attention to certain aspects of behavior and let her draw her own conclusions. It's worked so far.

  • sage||

    And my wife will kick your ass for insulting her children.

    (points to Epi)

  • The Angry Optimist||

    I was talking about inordinate fear for girls, usually of a sexual variety.

    Still valid, Epi. Women get pregnant and men do not; women are in a more vulnerable sexual position (I should add, to, that the penetrated partner is more likely to contract a disease from the penetrator, as opposed to the inverse).

  • ||

    T,

    Violence isn't necessary. Simply psychologically condition the boy to violate some other girl or to fear sex entirely. Or, if you find that you're losing the battle, acquire for him a Russian or other former Eastern Bloc woman. They're relatively cheap and quite attractive. Total kryptonite to a teen-aged boy, who can't possibly resist. It's the nuclear option in the 21st century father's arsenal. Well, shotgun aside, anyway.

    By the way, the appropriate approach when meeting a suitor is to act precisely like you think Christopher Walken would. Can't fail.

  • ||

    She's a power to be reckoned with on a global political scale.

    pix plz k thx

    My biggest fear, since my child is not biologically mine, are the concerns of every parent who has a daughter with daddy issues. I am terrified that she will drag home something like her biological father.

    I could see that being worrisome. At what age did you become the father in practice?

  • ||

    By the way, the appropriate approach when meeting a suitor is to act precisely like you think Christopher Walken would.

    "The ice...is gonna break. Do you know...who I am?"

    My grandfather used to do several hilarious things to my mom when she would bring boys over. The one I can remember right now was to specifically get their name wrong, over and over. His name is Dave? "Hi, Bob, nice to see you." "Want something to drink, Bob?"--even after being corrected.

    But totally nonchalantly.

  • ||

    Episiarch,

    From Annie Hall:

    Duane (Christopher Walken): Can I confess something? I tell you this as an artist, I think you'll understand. Sometimes when I'm driving. . .on the road at night. . .I see two headlights coming toward me. Fast. I have this sudden impulse to turn the wheel quickly, head-on into the oncoming car. I can anticipate the explosion. The sound of shattering glass. The. . .flames rising out of the flowing gasoline.

  • ||

    Here's the video of that scene for all the fathers out there.

  • sage||

    "You tell the angels in Heaven you never the evil so singularly personified as you did in the face of the man who killed you."

  • sage||

    ...you never "saw" the evil, that is. Cut! Can I take another stab at it?

  • T||

    At what age did you become the father in practice?

    17 full time. We've been the escape hatch from the crazy since she was 12. She is finally starting to realize that a lot of the behavior she attributed to dad being whipped by crazy step-mom was in actuality just dad. I am hoping that helps mitigate any tendencies towards bringing a version of him home.

  • ||

    One advantage I have in parenthood is starting late. No kids at all until I was 39, and none of my own until I was 40. Old age and treachery will always defeat youth and skill. Especially if you can impersonate Christoper Walken and/or Sean Connery ("Lad, is there any reason I shouldn't gut and make a haggis out of you?")

    The advantage of having kids young, of course, is energy. It's not such an issue now, but I'll be sixty-something with a kid in college. I need some gene-therapy advances before then, especially considering that with 4+ kids, I'm never retiring.

  • ||

    17 full time. We've been the escape hatch from the crazy since she was 12.

    Ok, that would be tough. But there's no excuse for ProL.

  • kablammo||

    "By the way, the appropriate approach when meeting a suitor is to act precisely like you think Christopher Walken would. Can't fail."


    My favorite has to be what a friend does with young guys he doesn't like who wish to take his daughter out. He has them meet him and pick her up at his place of work...a funeral home. The sight of a rather large and surly man cleaning a silenced .45 while waiting for a body in the creamatorium to finish burning up apparently has an utterly devastating effect on their self confidence while reinforcing the importance of being a perfect gentleman on a date.

  • ChrisO||

    ChrisD-

    What pre-existing state powers? Those that may have existed under the Crown? All of the same were washed away by the revolution and the constitutions of the individual states. Which state expressly provided in its constituiton that (1) state actors had such qualified immunity and (2) courts had the right to create such a doctrine and thereby vitiate individual liberties?


    The states' sovereignty dates from the Declaration of Independence in 1776. They gave up a little bit of that sovereignty a decade later in ratifying the Constitution, but they most specifically did NOT give up their immunity from suit. In fact, the 11th Amendment bars states, as sovereigns, from even being sued in federal court.

    Qualified immunity is a judicially created subset of sovereign immunity and thus is not spelled out in state constitutions, though sovereign immunity itself is in some instances, I believe. Under Anglo-Saxon law, sovereign immunity is inherent, and I'm not sure that judges or legislatures have ever felt the need to codify it.

    Basically, the idea behind qualified immunity is that you are almost entirely barred from suing the state itself for most of its officials' misconduct, but courts have held that such sovereignty only covers the officials themselves if the rights their are violating are "clearly established" at the time. In other words, if they know they would be violating your constitutional rights and do it anyway.

    Fourth Amendment rights are usually found to be "clearly established" these days, AFAIK. I don't have the time to dig into this specific case, but the type of search at issue hear seems pretty traditional (i.e., not a drug test or an online search), so the principal should have been aware that strip-searching implicates the Fourth Amendment. The rights of students on-campus, however, has been a rather murky issue in recent years.

  • ChrisO||

    I made a slight mistake in the posting above. In the third paragraph, it should read "if the rights they are violating are not 'clearly established' at the time." Big difference.

  • ||

    If your lack of acting skills precludes being Christopher Walken, an alternative is to strongly hint that you are a friend of the friends.

  • Virgil||

    Psychic Friends? Super Friends? Ross-n-Rachel Friends?

  • ||

    The friends of people who put horse heads in your bed.

  • Luca Brasi||

    And the friends of people who send you fish.

  • Virgil||

    "The friends of people who put horse heads in your bed."

    So...Ross-n-Rachel Friends then?

    Zing!

    PS - If they put horse heads in your bed then they probably weren't real friends anyway; I'd just forget about them.

  • T||

    If your lack of acting skills precludes being Christopher Walken, an alternative is to strongly hint that you are a friend of the friends.

    That's a lot of work. Seriously, the weapons squirreled away in every random corner of the house and the overall demeanor have been working well for me. Plus, the kid talks me up when I'm not around. I'm still the crazy bastard who used to jump out of airplanes and got shot doing it. Kiddies these days are impressed with crusty old vets.

  • jk||

    We live in a culture where "You're fired" is almost never said.

    Superintenent Smellgood:

    "You authorized the strip search of a girl, the wrong girl, for having Advil. Let's examine the legal consequences of that."

    Bishop O'Mellow:

    "Father McHardon, you buggered an alter boy, perhaps you need counseling."

    Sherriff Pensionplan:

    "Officer Triggerhappy, you shot a dog who was running away from you. You'll be on administrative leave until this sorted out."

    Asking the courts to fill in this vacuum is will not be helpful.

  • wizard of oz books||

    With many new announcement about the wizard of oz movies in the news, you might want to consider starting to obtain Wizard of Oz book series either as collectible or investment at RareOzBooks.com.

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