Essay/Term paper: New jersey vs tlo supreme court case legal opinion
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TLO vs. New Jersey: When is the constitution invalid?
Justice Matthew Kaufman
In the case of New Jersey vs. TLO, I rule in favor of the petitioner, the state of New Jersey. In this case, I found no reason in the claims made by TLO and her defense. They claimed that the search conducted by school officials was unconstitutional. These officials were searching her purse for cigarettes, which she was caught smoking in the bathroom. During the search for the cigarettes they found the cigarettes, rolling papers used for making joints, a list of names with quantities of money owed to TLO, and finally a bag of marijuana. TLO says that she cannot be tried for any of these offenses, because she was violated of her rights promised in amendment 4, unlawful search and seizure. Yet, the incriminating items were found at the same time as the cigarettes, and given reasonable cause for suspicion, the school does have the legal right to search its students, and finally, the school officials had the right to search her purse because there was a reasonable doubt of her claiming to innocence being true.
TLO's 4th amendment rights were however, in fact not violated due to the reasonable cause and suspicion of her smoking, so the search was truly reasonable. And there is the fact that the teacher caught her smoking. Obviously it is the teacher's responsibility to take the student to the principal for suspension or other means of punishment. When TLO was asked whether or not she had been smoking, she said no.
The school officials then had a reasonable doubt, and they now had by all legal means the right to search TLO for evidence that she had been smoking. The search of her purse, if she had been innocent, would have proved her innocent, or guilty if she actually was guilty. The search was conducted privately, and was by no means humiliating to TLO.
Finally the officials did search TLO's purse for any kind of evidence, to prove her innocent, or guilty. They, in the process of the search, found all the following incriminating items: the cigarettes, rolling papers used for making joints, a list of names with quantities of money owed to TLO, and a bag of marijuana. The order in which they were found is still unclear. None the less all these items were found during the search which was justified by the suspicion of her smoking.
Due to obvious reason, the search was justified, and thereby proves that the bringing of this case to the supreme court is illogical, and utterly senseless. TLO was caught smoking, and with a reasonable doubt, the school officials searched her purse, in the process of the search, they found incriminating items, and therefor proved her testimony to be a lie. The school officials did no violate her 4th amendment, because they had a reasonable doubt. Finally, now TLO should be dealt her due punishment for her wrongs, and stop using the constitution to try and elude those punishments.
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