July 15, 2009
On Thursday, June 25, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Safford Unified School District v. Redding. In this case, the Supreme Court considered whether the Fourth Amendment precludes the strip search by school officials of a student suspected of possessing and distributing prohibited prescription pills and whether the school district and officials involved are subject to liability for having conducted such a search. In an 8-1 decision delivered by Justice Souter, the Court affirmed the Ninth Circuit’s holding that the strip search in question violated the Fourth Amendment, but reversed the Circuit Court in holding that all of the school officials involved are protected from liability by qualified immunity, although the Court left the question of the school district’s liability to be addressed on remand. Cato Institute senior fellow in constitutional studies Ilya Shapiro discusses the decision.
Oral Argument - April 21, 2009:
Decision - June 25, 2009: