Prisoner rights

Prison inmates retain a Fourth Amendment reasonableness right against abusive strip and body cavity searches enough to state a claim here. Qualified immunity is reserved for later. Henry v. Hulett, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 25390 (7th Cir. Aug. 11, 2020) (Easterbrook dissents that this right has to be found in the Eighth Amendment, not the Fourth):

Importantly, the Fourth and Eighth Amendments have different roles to play with respect to bodily searches and protect different categories of constitutional rights. The Eighth Amendment safeguards prisoners against the use of searches that correctional officers subjectively intend as a form of punishment. See Whitley, 475 U.S. at 319-20. Because reasonableness is an objective test, a defendant’s subjective state of mind is irrelevant to a court’s Fourth Amendment analysis. See Graham, 490 U.S. at 398 (“[T]he terms ‘cruel’ and ‘punishments’ clearly suggest some inquiry into subjective state of mind, whereas the term ‘unreasonable’ does not.”). The Fourth Amendment thus protects prisoners from searches that may be related to or serve some institutional objective, but where guards nevertheless perform the searches in an unreasonable manner, in an unreasonable place, or for an unreasonable purpose. See Bell, 441 U.S. at 559. This last consideration is particularly salient in the case before us: certainly, a court need not give as much deference to a prison administrator’s assessment of the necessity of a training exercise as it does to measures taken in response to the actual presence of weapons, contraband, or other immediate security concerns.

Brought to us by John Wesley Hallm,

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