January 10, 2006

Democrat Distortions: Doe v. Groody

Doe v. Groody has been extensively discussed (and extensively distorted by Senators Leahy and Kennedy) this morning, so I thought it would be helpful to show the readers of this weblog our discussion of this case in our white paper, "Judge Alito's Record: Restraint, Commitment to Precedent, Faithful Application of the Law":

"By now it should come as no surprise that left-wing groups’
characterization of Judge Alito’s dissent in Doe v. Groody, 361 F.3d 232 (3d Cir. 2004), a case involving a search for illegal drugs, is a gross distortion. In Doe, police officers obtained from a judge a warrant to search John Doe’s residence for drug paraphernalia. The accompanying warrant application sought permission to search all occupants of the house – on the reasonable theory that drug dealers often secret their wares on others’ persons in order to evade detection. However, the warrant’s description of the persons and places to be searched only listed John Doe and his residence, apparently because the box on the form was too small to fit the rest of the information. When executing the warrant, a female officer took Jane and Mary Doe(John Doe’s wife and 10-year-old daughter, respectively) to a private room and searched them for drugs, asking them to shift or remove various articles of clothing. This is hardly the invasive “strip-search” that [the Left] bewails.

The issue in Doe had nothing to do with whether the wife and daughter could be strip-searched. The fact that the search involved a female police officer asking Jane and Mary Doe to adjust their clothes simply was not relevant to the outcome of the case. Instead, the issue was a mundane and technical question of criminal law: How precisely must a search warrant incorporate the terms of an accompanying application?"

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