Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » DAMN ACTIVIST JUDGES

    Filed at 1:04 pm under by dcobranchi

    That ultra-liberal 9th Circuit Court has done it again, overturning two lower court decisions that had found that schools know best:

    Schools may not strip-search students for drugs based on an unverified tip, a federal appeals court ruled Friday.

    Overturning two other rulings, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said an assistant principal at an Arizona middle school violated the constitutional rights of a 13-year-old by ordering her to be strip-searched. He thought the honor student had prescription-strength ibuprofen; she did not.


    After a search of her pockets and backpack yielded nothing incriminatory, Kerry Wilson, the assistant principal, ordered his administrative assistant and a school nurse, both women, to force her to disrobe.

    “The officials had Savana peel off each layer of clothing in turn,” wrote Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw for the majority.

    The girl stood in her bra and underwear while the two officials searched her clothes. Then she was ordered to partially remove her bra, exposing her breasts, and finally told to shake out the crotch of her underwear.

    “Hiding her head so that the adults could not see that she was about to cry, Savana complied and pulled out her underwear, revealing her pelvic area,” Wardlaw wrote. “No ibuprofen was found.”

    The search was unjustified, the court said, because officials made no attempt to corroborate the claim by a student who was “cornered” and “seeking to shift blame from herself.”

    Forcing Savana to disrobe also was a “disproportionately extreme measure,” the majority said.

    “Common sense informs us that directing a 13-year-old girl to remove her clothes, partially revealing her breasts and pelvic area, for allegedly possessing ibuprofen, an infraction that poses an imminent danger to no one, and which could have been handled by keeping her in the principal’s office until a parent arrived or simply sending her home, was excessively intrusive,” Wardlaw wrote, joined by Judges Harry Pregerson, Raymond C. Fisher, Richard A. Paez, Milan D. Smith Jr. and N. Randy Smith.


    The ruling said that Assistant Principal Wilson was liable for monetary damages but that his aide and the school nurse were not because they were acting under his orders.

    Ten million in compensatory and punitive damages sounds about right to me.

    5 Responses to “DAMN ACTIVIST JUDGES”

    Comment by
    July 12th, 2008
    at 3:37 pm

    Oh my god. How is it possible that this case had to make it all the way to the 9th circuit before someone figured out the school principal was WRONG? And this court only ruled 6-5? Unbelievable.

    So will the ruling apply only to cases where the tip is unverified – “verified” tips, whatever they are, may still be used to justify strip searches of students in states that haven’t specifically outlawed strip searches?

    I agree with you – 10 million, in a lump sum, by end of business Monday. That might be soon enough.

    Of course, the principal won’t have that kind of money, so the courts should garner his wages and his pension. And then the family should go after the school district that hired this moron.

    Comment by
    July 12th, 2008
    at 7:13 pm

    If you can break down the door of someone’s home on an unverified drug tip, why not strip search the kids too? Since they seem to be able to get away with the militarization of the drug war when invading private homes, I don’t have a lot of faith that this ruling will stand up to Supreme scrutiny.

    Comment by
    July 13th, 2008
    at 9:37 pm

    I am glad my daughter homeschools. As a dancer having Ibuprofen, a lighter, sewing scissors & needles are routine things to have in her ballet bag. In fact she is often asked for those items from kids that come to ballet directly from school.
    Horrors !!!!!!! at 10years old she would be a criminal in school !!!!!!

    Comment by
    July 13th, 2008
    at 10:44 pm

    If it had been my daughter, I probably would have gone down to the school and let the ass. principal know the true meaning of “punitive damages”.

    Comment by
    July 15th, 2008
    at 10:34 am

    And I though having to strip down in locker rooms in front of your own classmates was bad.