Supreme Court rules strip searches constitutional after arrest
The Supreme Court ruled today, April 2, that strip searches are constitutional after arrest, regardless of the crime.
The court voted 5-4 for the decision, which goes against statutes in 10 states, as well as policies at a federal level.
While the decision doesn’t require strip searches it does say that they are permissible even if there is no suspicion of illicit items. The court decided that this didn’t violate the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches.
Santorum Wins Louisiana Primary
On Saturday, March 24, presidential candidate Rick Santorum took first place in the Louisiana primary.
Santorum received 49.0% of the vote while Mitt Romney followed with 26.7%. Behind Romney were Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, with 15.9% and 6.1%, respectively.
However, although Santorum won Louisiana, he still trails in delegates. The New York Times cited the Associated Press, saying that Romney has 572 delegates while Santorum has 273, Gingrich has 135, and Paul has 50. To win the nomination, candidates need 1144 delegates, and 1255 delegates remain.
The next contests are tomorrow, April 3, in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Wisconsin.
Supreme Court meets privately over “Obamacare”
After hearing three days of arguments over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court met in private on Friday. Past practice expected it to preliminarily vote on the law. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is the health care reform bill, also known as Obamacare, that was passed earlier in the president’s administration.
Key to the decision of the Supreme Court is a part of the bill called the “individual mandate.” This provision has caused a lot of controversy in that it requires most Americans to buy health insurance . However, the difficulty is that the “individual mandate” is a major source of funding for the bill. This means if it were to be struck down, the rest of the law would also likely be in jeopardy.
The court is expected to begin drafting positions, though it will likely be months before they will release their final decision.
Syria expected to withdraw troops
Kofi Annan, Syrian joint special envoy to the United Nations, announced today that the Syrian government was prepared to withdraw its security forces from major cities and population centers by April 10. This would be a first step towards ending the constant violence that has plagued the nation since revolts started in March 2011.
Critics of the Syrian government are skeptical of the plans for peace.
“We have seen promises made and promises broken,” said Susan E. Rice, American envoy to the United Nations. “We have seen commitments to end violence followed by massive intensification of violence. The proof is in the actions, not the words.”
Although the ceasefire is a necessary first step, many necessary parts of the proposed peace plan, including aid to civilians and talks for negotiating a new political process, have not been settled.
Shooter in Oakland kills seven, injures three more
A shooting at Oikos University, a small Christian college in East Oakland, left seven people dead today. The suspect involved in the shooting, 43-year-old former student One Goh, has been taken into police custody.
Five people died at the scene, two others died after being taken to hospitals and three others were injured. The police stated that their injuries are not life threatening.
Police say they do not know the gunman’s motives or whether he was targeting specific individuals. The suspect, One Goh, is a naturalized Korean citizen and is not known to have a criminal past. The heavily Korean-American school which Goh targeted today enrolls a few hundred students in niche subjects such as Bible study, nursing and music.
“Today was an unprecedented tragedy, shocking and senseless,” Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan said at a press conference. “No words can express the gravity of this incident.”