There was argument before the Supreme Court yesterday about the propriety of strip-searching 13-year-old girls on suspicion of having drugs, such as that scourge of humanity and claimer of souls known as Advil. In a sane society this would be a 9-0 decision opposed to it, w/ the opinion reading simply “WTF is wrong with you?!?”.
Unfortunately, a sane society is not that which we live in. Thus, we get people old enough to know better actually debating this like the State is capable of furnishing a legit reason to eyeball the crotches of children. Some more enthusastically than others…:
David O’Neil, an assistant to the solicitor general representing the federal government, tried to steer a middle course.
The Fourth Amendment had been violated, he said, because school officials did not have a reasonable suspicion that Ms. Redding had secreted drugs in her undergarments. But Mr. O’Neil added that Ms. Redding should not be allowed to sue the assistant principal who ordered the search, because the law was unclear at the time.
Justice Antonin Scalia challenged him on the first point.
“You search in the student’s pack, you search the student’s outer garments, and you have a reasonable suspicion that the student has drugs,” he said. “Don’t you have, after conducting all these other searches, a reasonable suspicion that she has drugs in her underpants?”
“You’ve searched everywhere else,” Justice Scalia said. “By God, the drugs must be in her underpants.”
Mr. O’Neil said a more focused suspicion was required. “Certainly there is no practice anywhere, that I’m aware of, of hiding ibuprofen in underwear,” he said. (emphasis mine)
Leave aside the fact that, since ibuprofen is taken orally, keeping the pills in your underwear would make them unsuitable for consumption and thus pointless — unless, of course, you either didn’t pay attention in Biology or simply vehemently disagree with Dante’s view of the nether regions. The way Scalia sees it, not finding drugs in the normal places means not that the kid doesn’t have drugs, but MUST have them in their underwear. Following that to its logical conclusion, what exactly stops authorities from thinking that if the drugs aren’t in their underwear then they’re in what is under the underwear, and taking that as excuse to play Amateur Gynecologist with our daughters?