Should strip searches be allowed of anyone who is arrested for any reason who falls under the U.S. constitution? And is this related to profiling?
In Florence v. County of Burlington (No. 10-945), the U.S. Supreme Court answered the first question in the affirmative. In this case, a man was in a passenger seat of a car driven by his wife who was pulled over for speeding. The officer found in a data check that there was a warrant out for the man’s arrest for an unpaid fine. It turned out that the fine had been paid. Although a majority of the court found that the man’s strip search was allowable, in a minority dissent Justice Stephen G. Breyer pointed out that this would then apply to other cases that had occurred, including a U.S. citizen arrested for driving with a noisy car muffler, one arrested for riding a bicycle without an audible bell, and a nun arrested at an antiwar rally. Justice Breyer’s only caveat was that a strip search should be allowed if there were some reasonable suspicion that the arrestee was attempting to hide contraband and, presumably, other proscribed objects like a weapon.