In an analysis for the New York Times, Adam Liptak reviews Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s rulings. One of her dissents concerns the privacy rights of children. The case is: N.G. v. Connecticut, 382 F.3d 225 (2d Cir. 2004).
In a 2004 dissent, Judge Sotomayor seemed to be in agreement with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s observation in a recent interview with USA Today that female judges can be more sensitive to claims that strip searches of young girls are unduly intrusive.
The majority opinion in the 2004 case, by two male judges, upheld the legality of some strip searches of girls held at juvenile detention centers in Connecticut.
In her dissent, Judge Sotomayor wrote that the majority had not been attentive enough to “the privacy interests of emotionally troubled children” who “have been victims of abuse or neglect, and may be more vulnerable mentally and emotionally than other youths their age.”
That was in line with Justice Ginsburg’s questioning from the bench last month in Safford Unified School District v. Redding, which concerned what she called a “humiliating” strip search of a 13-year-old middle school student by school officials in Arizona.
In her dissent, Judge Sotomayor also emphasized how “embarrassing and humiliating” the searches of the girls in Connecticut had been. “The officials inspected the girls’ naked bodies front and back, and had them lift their breasts and spread out folds of fat,” Judge Sotomayor wrote.