From a national Libertarian Party announcement and press release, at the LP website: here.
LP Chair: “Get Ready To Strip For Unpaid Traffic Ticket”
April 4th, 2012
WASHINGTON – The Libertarian Party denounces a U.S. Supreme Court decision,
which on Monday struck down a legal complaint by a New Jersey man who was
subjected to invasive strip searches after being erroneously detained on
suspicion of an unpaid fine.
The Libertarian Party warns that the 5-4 ruling, supported by
conservative justices along with Anthony M. Kennedy, establishes a new
judicial precedent allowing invasive searches of individuals in detention
for even minor infractions or by mistake.
“After this ruling, get ready to strip even if you have an unpaid
traffic ticket,” Mark Hinkle, Libertarian Party Chair, said in a statement.
“We are dismayed. This ruling sanctions new and unprecedented levels of
invasion of privacy. Never before did U.S. courts allow such an outrageous
affront to human dignity with so little justification.”
The complaint was brought by Albert W. Florence, a black New Jersey man
who was arrested by state troopers in 2005 on an outstanding warrant for an
unpaid fine. The police record indicating the fine was unpaid turned out
later to be erroneous. Moreover, an unpaid fine is not a crime under New
However, Mr. Florence was held for a week in two different jails before
the charges were dropped. He was subjected to strip searches in both
Justice Kennedy, who wrote for the majority, argued that corrections
officials “must have substantial discretion to devise reasonable solutions
to the problems they face.”
Writing for the dissent, Justice Stephen G. Breyer said the strip
searches were “a serious affront to human dignity and to individual
Mr. Hinkle added: “Respect for individual dignity and privacy in America
must be restored. It seems like the majority of the high court has decided
to short-shrift the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which
specifically bars unreasonable searches. We call for the repeal of the USA
Patriot Act and other so-called ‘home security’ legislation that infringe
upon the rights of rank-and-file Americans.”