On April 2, 2012 the Supreme Court announced its decision in Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders. The question in this case was whether the Fourth Amendment permits the government to conduct a visual strip search of any person who is admitted to jail, even when there is no reasonable basis for suspecting that the person has hidden weapons or contraband.
In an opinion delivered by Justice Kennedy, the Court held by a vote of 5-4 that the government may conduct a visual strip search of any person who is to be admitted to the general population of a jail. The Chief Justice, as well as Justices Scalia and Alito, joined Justice Kennedy’s opinion in full. Justice Thomas joined that opinion as to all except Part IV. The Chief Justice and Justice Alito also wrote separate concurring opinions. Justice Breyer filed a dissenting opinion, which was joined by Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan.
To discuss the case, we have Sarah Hart, who is a prosecutor in Philadelphia.