The Supreme Court Ruled that public officials have immunity from violating the rights of Samantha Redding because Souter said the school officials who ordered or carried out the search were entitled to immunity from liability because of uncertainty over whether the right had been clearly established at that time.
Let me put this in a different scenario. If a policeman had acted without a warrant on a single source anonymous tip and conducted a strip search of a minor that policeman would not be immune from liability. If a US Soldier in a foreign country with a security agreement held and strip searched a 13 year old girl it would clearly and rightly be labeled as a "war crime".
So why do school officials get a free pass in terms of immunity? The right has been clearly established for other public servants, even as early as 2003.
Title 42, U.S.C., Section 14141Pattern and Practice
This civil statute was a provision within the Crime Control Act of 1994 and makes it unlawful for any governmental authority, or agent thereof, or any person acting on behalf of a governmental authority, to engage in a pattern or practice of conduct by law enforcement officers or by officials or employees of any governmental agency with responsibility for the administration of juvenile justice or the incarceration of juveniles that deprives persons of rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.Whenever the Attorney General has reasonable cause to believe that a violation has occurred, the Attorney General, for or in the name of the United States, may in a civil action obtain appropriate equitable and declaratory relief to eliminate the pattern or practice.Types of misconduct covered include, among other things:1. Excessive Force 2. Discriminatory Harassment3. False Arrest4. Coercive Sexual Conduct 5. Unlawful Stops, Searches, or Arrests
TITLE 42 > CHAPTER 21 > SUBCHAPTER I
§ 1983. Civil action for deprivation of rights
Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer’s judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia.
I wonder what real reason is behind giving immunity to school officials?