The inmate, Charles Byrd, was in Maricopa County's minimum-security jail awaiting trial in October 2004 when officials ordered searches of everyone in his unit after a series of fights.
Byrd was ordered to strip down to his [boxers] - colored pink, as required for all inmates by Joe Arpaio, the county's hard-line sheriff - and was searched by a female cadet from a training academy. She said she had taken no more than 20 seconds, while Byrd estimated the time at a minute. No contraband was found.
A three-judge appeals court panel ordered Byrd's civil rights suit dismissed in 2009, citing the jail's security needs and past rulings allowing female guards to pat down clothed male prisoners and observe naked male inmates.
But after the full appeals court ordered a rehearing, a majority of Wednesday's panel said cross-gender probes of intimate areas violate the constitutional ban on unreasonable searches.
Forget about the strip search; how about having to wear pink underwear in jail? Talk about humiliating...