SCOTUS: If Arrested, Even for Not Paying a Fine, You Can Be Strip-searched

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WASHINGTON - MARCH 13: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy prepares to testify before the House Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee on Capitol Hill March 8, 2007 in Washington, DC. Kennedy and Justice Clarence Thomas spoke about concerns with the ongoing remodeling of the court building, the reduction of paperwork due to electronic media and the disparity of pay between federal judges and lawyers working in the private sector. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

It's a happy day for prison guards and correctional officers. The Supreme Court has just ruled 5-4 to uphold their right to strip-search inmates no matter how minor the offense, as long as they are destined for the general prison population. (Such as in the case of the African-American man arrested for failing to pay a past fine, which he had since paid off, and who was then ordered to submit to an invasive strip search.) The dissenting Justices said officers should need a "reasonable suspicion" that an inmate was hiding something (say weapons or contraband) before conducting such a search. But the majority opinion, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy (above), said that detecting lice or gang tattoos was reason enough. So basically don't get arrested, or you may have more than just your civil rights violated.