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Tuesday, June 18, 2024 | Back issues
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Stripped-Down Logic

At last a victory for the homely.

We may soon be seeing class actions on behalf of the beautiful and sexy.

In case you missed it, the U. S. Supreme Court in Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of County of Burlington has ruled that it's OK to strip search anybody that's been arrested for anything.

Now think about it.

You've got a supermodel jaywalking on your right and a homeless guy taking a dump on your left. Who do you want to arrest?

See what I mean?

The prison population is going to be a lot easier to look at in the very near future.

Before those of you on the left get too outraged by this, I think you should consider the benefits.

Consider those interminably long lines at local courthouses for traffic ticket payments. Now think of everyone in line naked.

Is there not some benefit here? At the very least, it will cut down on the boredom.

And this could be a great way to drive down medical costs.

Here's part of the case summary at the beginning of the Supreme Court ruling:

"(P)etitioner, like every incoming detainee, had to shower with a delousing agent and was checked for scars, marks, gang tattoos and contraband.... (H)e also had to open his mouth, lift his tongue, hold out his arms, turn around, and lift his genitals."

Sounds like a doctor visit to me.

Think of all the early-stage illnesses that are going to be prevented with this kind of law enforcement.

I also rather like this ruling because it's a classic example of what I like to think of as fantasy argument. Whenever you get an issue like this, each side comes up with its worst fantasies.

Justice Kennedy for the majority: "Correctional officers have had to confront arrestees concealing knives, scissors, razor blades, glass shards, and other prohibited items on their person, including in their body cavities."

This explains their pained expressions.

"Something as simple as an overlooked pen can post a significant danger."

Particularly in the anus of a good writer.

Justice Breyer dissenting: "(T)he person searched may have no expectation of being subject to search, say, because she had simply received a traffic ticket for failing to buckle a seatbelt, because he had not previously paid a civil fine, or because she had been arrested for a minor trespass....

"(P)olice arrested a mother driving with her two children because their seat belts were not buckled.... Would this Court have upheld the arrest ... had they subjected her to a search of the kind at issue here?"

And, if you think that's possibly bad if it happened, there's also the "Sister of Divine Providence for 50 years" who got arrested during an antiwar demonstration, "women who were strip-searched during periods of lactation or menstruation," victims of sexual violence (who somehow got arrested for being victims), and people "detained for such infractions as driving with a noisy muffler, driving with an inoperable headlight, failing to use a turn signal, or riding a bicycle without an audible bell."

No wonder the prisons are so crowded.

So we've either got a plague of criminals who carry deadly weapons in their butts on the off-chance they're arrested or we're all in danger of being tossed in jail and stripped for failing to maintain our vehicles.

I'm not sure which is more disturbing.

The world of fantasy is a dangerous place indeed.

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