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Two Big Wins for Law Enforcement

Yesterday the Supreme Court handed down its decisions in two cases I have been closely following.  Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of County of Burlington, et al., addressed correctional policies that require the strip searching of individuals prior to their housing in a jails general population.  The court upheld such a policy, which was under attack on Fourth Amendment grounds. Rehberg v. Paulk addressed immunity for law enforcement officers who testify in grand jury proceedings.  The Supreme Court ruled that the same absolute immunity that trial witnesses enjoy applies to grand jury witnesses.

I will blog more on these cases after I have a chance to read them in detail.  From a quick read of Rehberg, it appears to be a big victory, with the court limiting LEO exposure to malicious prosecution claims to conduct such as providing false information when applying for a arrest warrant or to get a DA to prosecute. Florence appears to be consistent with changes in Ninth Circuit strip search standards over the last few years.  Some commentators have suggested that the opinion is not a complete victory for jail commanders, with the court leaving significant restrictions in place.  I will write further on these later.