New Jersey v. T.L.O.
Took place at Piscataway High School in New Jersey
Supreme Court Justice Warren E. Burger
In 1980, one of the teachers at Piscataway High School found two girls smoking in a restroom at the school Smoking in the restroom was in violation to the schools rules, there were designated smoking in the school but the restroom was not one of them. The teacher brought the two girls to the principles office
The vice principle asked the two girls if they were smoking in the bathroom T.L.O's friend admitted that she had been smoking
T.L.O denied the allegations and told the vice principle she didn't even smoke The vice principal opened up T.L.O.'s purse and found a pack of cigarettes. Accused T.L.O. of lying about smoking in the restroom
Found a package of cigarette rolling papers in her purse
The vice principle believed that was an indicator of the involvement of marijuana Proceeded to search her purse and found: a small amount of marijuana, a pipe, empty plastic bags, a significant amount of money in one dollar bills, a list of students who owed T.L.O money and letters implicating T.L.O. in dealing marijuana. Question:
Did the search violate the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments?
6 votes for New Jersey, 3 votes against
White wrote the majority opinion and Burger, Blackmun, Powell, Rehnquist and O’Connor voted with the majority Stevens wrote a dissent and Brennan and Marshall joined the dissent The search didn’t violate the amendments. Since the vice principal saw the rolling papers in her purse it was enough to have ‘probable cause’ that T.L.O. may have been carrying drugs. Therefore justifying the search of her purse