The United States Supreme Court spent an hour on Tuesday debating what middle school students are apt to put in their underwear and what should be done about it, reports The New York Times. Justice Stephen G. Breyer, for instance, said it struck him as "a logical thing" that adolescents seeking to hide pills "will stick them in their underwear."
Adam B. Wolf, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, disagreed, invoking what he called the "ick factor."
His client, Savana Redding, had been subjected to a strip search in 2003 by school officials in Safford, Ariz. She was 13 and in eighth grade at the time. The officials were acting on a tip from another student and were looking for prescription-strength ibuprofen, a painkiller. They made Ms. Redding strip to her underwear, shake her bra and pull aside her panties. The officials, both female, found no pills.
"What this school official did," Mr. Wolf said, referring to the male assistant principal who ordered the search, "was act on nothing more than a hunch — if that — that Savana was currently concealing ibuprofen pills underneath her underpants for others’ oral consumption."
Without intimating a view on the ickiness of what Mr. Wolf had described, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. suggested that the law might treat different undergarments differently. "The issue here covers the brassiere as well," he said, "which doesn’t seem as outlandish as the underpants"…
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