Constitution

If you are stopped for speeding or arrested for an unpaid fine, you may be subjected to a strip search and thorough inspection of even the most private body parts, the U.S. Supreme Court said Monday in another controversial 5-4 decision. Justice Anthony Kennedy (left) sided with the court's conservative bloc and wrote the opinion of the court in Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of County of Burlington, the case of Albert Florence, a New Jersey man apprehended in a motor vehicle stop and arrested for an allegedly unpaid fine. In fact, Florence had already paid the fine, but the bench warrant for his arrest had, "for some unexplained reason," not been removed from the statewide computer database at the time of the arrest, Kennedy said.

gavelThe journalists and activists challenging the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in federal court may have moved the case against the due-process-denying law a little closer toward a final hearing on the merits of their complaint.

The most important rule in constitutional law, the late Justice William Brennan liked to tell his law clerks, is "the rule of five." Five votes out of nine on the high court are all it takes to make constitutional law and change the course of history.

The Arizona legislature is currently considering the Candidate Certification Bill, a so-called "birther" measure which directly calls into question Barack Obama’s eligibility to serve as President. If successful, the legislation would determine if the President's name may be placed on the Grand Canyon State's ballot in November.

Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday what has long been known but seldom spoken. During the third and final day of Supreme Court hearings on whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 is unconstitutional, Roberts said  states have been compromising their sovereignty for decades through increased reliance on the federal government for money and accompanying directions on the governance of state affairs. 

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