Okay, so I'm reading about the Florence strip-search and jail case. And I'm thinking, "Please let the guy be white, so this isn't just police racism." No such luck. Mr. Florence is black. In a BMW. Has a BMW dealership, in fact. So, cops stop black people in a BMW, for "speeding." No citation given to wife, who was driving. (WHY WERE THEY STOPPED IN THE FIRST PLACE?). Cop does check on the car. Finds old unpaid ticket, after what is basically a fishing expedition.
Mr. Florence is handcuffed, strip-searched TWICE, jailed for a week with no bail (HE'S A FLIGHT RISK! NO BAIL, BECAUSE HE ALREADY SKIPPED ON A TICKET!). Finally sees judge. Is able to prove that in fact HE PAID THE TICKET! On time. Police just failed to record the payment. Whoopsie daisy, sorry, fella. Have a good day.
Exactly the same thing happened to me, Dec. 2010, except no arrest and strip search. Got notice of failure to pay ticket that had, in fact, been paid. Had to send copy of cancelled check, had to get notarized statement, all because the state is too busy to recognize when citizens do what the state forces them to do. It happens all the time. The state is remarkably incompetent, and indifferent to the consequences of that incompetence, given that if YOU make a mistake the consequences are enormous.
You'll want to watch this excerpt from one of best movies of all time, Brazil. Four mins, watch it through, please.
Now, the Supreme Court case is about the strip-searching. I'm afraid, on that narrow question, the court got it right. If (IF!) you are going to put the guy in jail, for a week, for a nonviolent traffic ticket (which he had actually already paid, but never mind for a minute, suppose he hadn't), then you HAVE to strip search him. It's the logic of domination and humiliation in the prison system. The strip search is a consequence of the dangerous security situation in the jail where the state is choosing to hold this person. In jail, you lose the presumption of innocence.
The real questions didn't come up in the court case. Why did police stop a black couple just because they had a BMW, and then searched for something, anything, to nail the guy. Then why send him to jail, with no way out, for a week. And why not keep better records, if the stakes are really this high? If failing to pay a ticket is worth a week in jail, away from work and family, what should be the punishment for failing to record a valid and timely payment for a ticket? Shouldn't it be symmetric?
The REAL question, then, is why all our sensitive leftist friends put so much faith in a state that routinely does the sorts of things described above. I bet (paraphrasing Edmund Burke) it's because you fall out only with the abuses, and think that the thing itself is good. The THING! The thing itself is the abuse!
Why do you people love the state so much? It doesn't love you.