June 19, 2006


Supreme Court upholds California's searches of parolees: In a 6-to-3 ruling, the justices say that parolees must consent to searches without a warrant. (Warren Richey, 6/20/06, The Christian Science Monitor)

In an important privacy ruling with major implications for individuals on parole, the US Supreme Court voted 6 to 3 Monday to uphold a California law that requires all state prisoners to agree as a condition of release that they consent to warrantless searches by law enforcement.

"Examining the totality of the circumstances pertaining to petitioner's status as a parolee ... we conclude that petitioner did not have an expectation of privacy that society would recognize as legitimate," writes Justice Clarence Thomas in the majority opinion.

The interesting question is what happens to the minority when Stevens finally retires--does anyone else have such a vested interest in things like the privacy and pro-criminal rulings of thirty and forty years ago?

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 19, 2006 7:11 PM

And Souter, of course, is in the minority. What a waste of a Supreme Court pick. The worst pick, simply as a abdication of presidential responsibility, since Brennan.

Posted by: David Cohen at June 19, 2006 11:08 PM

Yes - Bush really screwed that one up. Trusting John Sununu was a big mistake.

Thought experiment: why hasn't a liberal President ever picked a judge who turned out to be a closet conservative?

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 20, 2006 8:41 AM

Byron White

Posted by: oj at June 20, 2006 9:15 AM

Forgot about Kennedy appointing him.

Before that, I was thinking back to Marshall, although these days it's hard to know how to classify him.

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 20, 2006 9:45 AM