Party Like It’s 1984

One thing you can say about the “conservative” majority on the Supreme Court: their definition of “freedom” is decidedly not the one you’d find in Webster’s.  Last week, “freedom” meant the God-given right to die in the gutter of preventable illness; this week it means the “freedom” to have cops look under your balls, literally, whether or not you’ve committed any crime.  I wish I were making this up, but I’m not.  From the WaPoo:

The case was brought by Albert Florence, a New Jersey man who said he was subjected to two invasive inspections in 2005 after being mistakenly arrested for not paying a fine.

A state trooper pulled over Florence’s BMW in 2005 as he and his family were on the way to his mother-in-law’s to celebrate the purchase of their new home. He was handcuffed and arrested in front of his distraught, pregnant wife and young son.

He spent seven days in jail because of a warrant that said, mistakenly, he was wanted for not paying a court fine. In fact, he had proof that the fine had been paid years earlier; he said he carried it in his glove box because he believed that police were suspicious of black men who drove nice cars.

Florence was jailed in Burlington County and then Essex County, before a magistrate ordered him released. At Burlington, he said he was forced to disrobe in front of an officer and told to lift his genitals. At Essex, he was strip-searched again, and said he was made to squat and cough in front of others, a maneuver meant to expel anything hidden in a body cavity.

Understandably, this guy thought he had a pretty good case, but he fatally mis-underestimated the shameless authoritarianism of our black-robed Torquemadas.

According to “swing” justice Kennedy, who is invariably called upon to write odious opinions such as these, law enforcement ought to be able to “protect” prison populations by strip-searching new arrivals regardless of the gravity or, in this case, nonexistence, of their crimes.  You see, he’s beside himself with worry about disease, weapons, and other dangerous contraband that is, in his mind, always being smuggled into prisons by minor traffic offenders.  To bolster his case, he points out that Timothy McVeigh had been stopped for a broken tail light prior to the Oklahoma City bombing, and al Queda members had been pulled over for traffic infractions prior to Sept. 11.  I guess Kennedy thinks that Ryder trucks and commercial aircraft can be stuffed up one’s ass, with the proper lubricant, presumably.

Of course, Sam Alito concurred, but ostentatiously hauled out his “moderate” bona fides by allowing that exceptions could be made for arrestees held separately from the general prison population, since the real goal is ostensibly “protecting” other inmates.  This chickenhearted criminal-coddling was naturally pooh-poohed by Clarence “Long Dong” Thomas, who thinks everyone should be strip-searched, while he watches.  Especially the hot babes.

As I wrote last week, we no longer have a Supreme Court, we have a cabal of five fascist nutjobs working feverishly to get rid of the constitution they’re nominally charged with upholding, with all deliberate speed, if you will.  Justice Breyer wrote in his dissent that such a search was “inherently harmful, humiliating, and degrading.”  C’mon, hippie….  That’s the point.

My brother, Butts, has a birthday today…..  Tell him he looks remarkable for his age.



  1. You said:

    “As I wrote last week, we no longer have a Supreme Court, we have a cabal of five fascist nutjobs working feverishly to get rid of the constitution..”

    That, unfortunately, is where our highest court stands today.

    Well said.

  2. michlib says:

    You know, there’s nothing in the constitution about lifetime terms for the Supremes. How about 18 and 15 year staggered terms for nominees – to keep the court refreshed and allow every president to make appointments. Just an idea.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Unfortunately, Democrats have already embraced that idea, by only elevating qualified people, who must necessarily be of a certain age. The righties start shopping in high school, and groom them with wingnut welfare so they’re ready before they even need geezer glasses. Thomas has been on the court 20 years, and despite his obesity and curmudgeonliness, is only in his mid-60′s.

      • michlib says:

        Poor old Clarence. Unqualified when nominated, and has done nothing since. The Sphinx – says nothing, never engages, and casts pre-determined votes. Thurgood Marshall he is not.

  3. loretta says:

    Welcome to the police state. What is it going to take for more people to sit up and take notice of this? It’s been going on for years, but now they are just blatant about it.

    I went to traffic court last week (for the first time since the early 90s) and I had a head of steam all worked up, along with notes I had taken in order to play a lawyer on TV, and there was a mistake on the case file. They had me as a REPEAT offender and being charged with a 3rd degree misdemeanor. I told the judge, quite calmly (and nw distracted from my Robert Shapiro defense), that it must be some mistake, since I had no moving violations since 500 BC.

    She shrugged, handed the file to one of the fat, surly uniformed officers (who spent most of the past half hour or so glaring, frowning and sneering at the people in the pews) to take my case next door.

    I walked to another courtroom and waited. The prosecutor was this tiny little bald guy, not all that old, who seemed to want to get everybody the hell out of there with the least fuss. So, he waived me over, we looked at the file, I said, “What’s this about me being a dangerous lunatic criminal behind the wheel?” and he said, “I don’t know what they are talking about, there is no record of a repeat offense.” I said, ok. He said, however, “The officer that puleld you over charged you with three violations: speeding, failing to signal, and lack of attention,” and I said, “Ha! If I cop to six points, I’ll lose my job, so I guess I’ll just take my chances with a jury of my peers.” And he said, “No, I’ll drop the two charges, you plea no contest to the speeding and you pay the fine and go home.”

    I was kind of disappointed that I couldn’t play Clarence Darrow that day, but I said, ok. When I told the judge that I thought the cop was making things up in order to raise revenue, and that I could understand why since Cleveland is losing so much money, she just looked at me and laughed. My fine was half of what I expected, but I was this close >< to being Al Pacino in Justice for All.

    I hate mf cops.

    • cocktailhag says:

      That’s one reason I like mass transit so much; it’s not for the glamor, but the freedom to be left alone.
      Sorry you didn’t get your chance to dazzle the courtroom, but at least it was cheap.

  4. loretta says:

    If this had been me, I would have lauged in that jerk’s face when he started interrogating me after the handshake and driven off.

  5. loretta says:

    Incidentally, there are courses (online and via book) about how to handle this kind of unreasonable search, but the most important take-away is You Have The Right To Remain Silent!!!

    And don’t.say.a.word. If I were arrested, I would cease talking.