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Divided Supreme Court Upholds Strip Search of those Arrested for Minor Offenses

In a 5-4 opinion by Justice Kennedy, the Supreme Court held that the suspicionless strip search of a prison detainee does not violate the Fourth Amendment. The case, Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders, involved a wrongful arrest based on an invalid warrant. Justices Roberts and Alito filed concurring opinions noting potential exceptions to the Court's general rule, such as when a detainee will be kept separate from the general prison population. Justice Breyer's dissenting opinion argued that strip searches are an "affront to human dignity and to individual privacy," and questioned whether they are necessary given other, less intrusive, screening methods available. EPIC has opposed the use of airport body scanners, which collect images of naked air travelers, and filed an amicus brief challenging a wrongful arrest based on errors in a Government database. For more information, see: EPIC: Herring v. US.

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