On Monday, April 2nd, the Supreme Court of the United States issued an opinion in a 5-4 vote that allows people arrested for minor offenses to be strip-searched before being admitted to jail, even if officials have no other reason to suspect them of carrying contraband or weapons.
I am almost positive that when the founders of our country wrote the Fourth Amendment to our Constitution and included “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 …” they would have thought that being strip-searched, without a warrant or probably cause was “unreasonable”.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, said that the courts are in no position to second-guess the judgement of correctional officials.
The founders of our nation had experienced tyranny in government, unfair taxes, near dictatorship under local officials appointed by the distant crown, and knew when they wrote our constitution that power corrupts, and absolute power should be given to no government.
Our three branches of government are supposed to check and balance each other. When one of them fails to perform this basic constitutional task, then our system begins to crumble.
The Supreme Court is the last stop on our train. If they don’t stand up and defend the constitution, then the rest of us are in for a rough ride.
The United States is quickly sliding from the worlds largest economy to less than the best. China holds about 8 percent of our national debt. Our educational system is now rated as average. Among industrialized nations, we are behind South Korea, Finland, Estonia and even Poland in educational rankings.
The best thing we have going for us is our government, but in the past few years it seems to be headed into a meltdown with Congress unable or unwilling to do its job, a slate of Republican candidates that are constant fodder for the nightly talk show stand-up comedy routines, and now a Supreme Court that has lost sight of its responsibility.
Woe is Us. Redux.