High Court Looks At Routine Strip Searches In Jail

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court is hearing a New Jersey man's claim that strip searches in two county jails violated his constitutional rights, in an important test of the privacy rights
of people who have been arrested.

Albert Florence sued the jails after he was strip-searched twice in seven days in two New Jersey jails following his arrest on a warrant for a traffic fine he already had paid.

Florence argues that authorities need reasonable suspicion that a person entering a jail may be hiding a weapon or drugs before they undertake an invasive search. The jails, backed by the Obama administration, say the searches protect inmates and guards.

Federal appeals courts are split over the propriety of routine strip searches in jails, although recent decisions have tended to uphold the searches.