Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The conservative mind at work

Today's NYT includes a SCOTUS case, Redding v. Stafford Unified School District, involving a Middle School girl who was strip-searched for ibuprofen (which she didn't have). Here's my favorite passage from the NYT article:
... David O’Neil, an assistant to the solicitor general representing the federal government, tried to steer a middle course.

The Fourth Amendment had been violated, he said, because school officials did not have a reasonable suspicion that Ms. Redding had secreted drugs in her undergarments.
Justice Antonin Scalia challenged him on the first point.

“You search in the student’s pack, you search the student’s outer garments, and you have a reasonable suspicion that the student has drugs,” he said. “Don’t you have, after conducting all these other searches, a reasonable suspicion that she has drugs in her underpants?”

“You’ve searched everywhere else,” Justice Scalia said. “By God, the drugs must be in her underpants.”

[Court Debates Strip Search of Student; emphasis added]
This is EXACTLY the "reasoning" that got us into Iraq to find all those WMD.

It is EXACTLY the reasoning that compelled the use of torture to "prove" a link between al Qaeda and Iraq!

How'd Scalia ever get confirmed?

Aside: recall, Scalia & Cheney are hunting buds! - what a surprise!

UPDATE: What strikes me as a relevant Gilbert & Sullivan quotation:
When your Majesty says, "Let a thing be done," it's as good as done--practically, it is done--because your Majesty's will is law. Your Majesty says, "Kill a gentleman," and a gentleman is told off to be killed. Consequently, that gentleman is as good as dead--practically, he is dead--and if he is dead, why not say so?
For Scalia, there seems little difference between suspicion and FACT. Where others might suppose that NOT finding drugs in student's purse or student's outer garments rather diminished the plausibility of the initial suspicion (we in the real world call this inductive logic, or the scientific method) - to Scalia, it seems rather to all but prove the initial allegation! For Scalia, "suspicion" = "guilt"... so why bother with the search at all? - just expel the kid from school!
A statement by Authority that a thing is true means that it IS true!

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