Seventh Circuit Review


How limited are the constitutional rights of convicted prisoners? In a line of cases authored by Judge Easterbrook, the Seventh Circuit has allowed greater intrusion on Fourth Amendment privacy rights of prisoners than any other circuit. Today, even arbitrary and degrading visual body-cavity searches are deemed constitutional under this line of precedent. The deference to prison officials—who lack any meaningful oversite—is unwise, and leaves prisoners without a necessary protection against abuse. The Court should employ a workable standard that respects the rights of prisoners and protects them from abuse. Considering dignity within the realm of Fourth Amendment protections would meet these goals.

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