Sometimes a journalist manages to put everything you need to know about a subject in the first sentence of his report. From Adam Liptak’s article “Court Debates Strip Search of Student”:

The United States Supreme Court spent an hour on Tuesday debating what middle school students are apt to put in their underwear and what should be done about it.

When the answers are so obvious – (a) anything they want to and (b) nothing should be done about it – it’s pretty sad that our justice system struggles to come to a conclusion. It really shouldn’t matter that this was a 13 year old honors student, and that the suspected contraband was prescription strength advil, and that the “information” came from an unreliable tattle-tale trying to shift blame away from herself, or that the strip search found nothing, although those facts do add to the insanity of the situation.

Liptak’s first sentence synopsis is entirely accurate. And the fact that anything about this topic is “debatable” is ludicrous. This is apparently how low we have sunk: what middle school students put in their underwear, and under what scenarios can the school and its administrators go a-peeping.


Continue Reading Strip Searches for Students, the Short Version

George Washington University Law School professor Orin Kerr, who is probably most renowned for his contributions to the Volokh Conspiracy, is publishing a paper in the upcoming Stanford Law Review titled “Applying the Fourth Amendment to the Internet: A General Approach”. The article’s general conceit appears to be that the Fourth Amendment should apply to the internet in the same way that it applies to the “physical world”:

Thus, the goal is "technology neutrality": Ideally, The Fourth Amendment should play the same role regardless of whether a criminal investigation occurs via an investigation in the physical world or whether it occurs via an investigation over the Internet.

Over at Simple Justice, Scott Greenfield asks whether this is the right approach, and concludes that it is not:


Continue Reading The Professor vs. the Practitioner on the Fourth Amendment