Scotus dna case


The Supreme Court decided that DNA swabs upon arrest are constitutional with a 5-4 decision. Scalia Lashes Out At Majority For Allowing Arrestee DNA Swabs - Forbes

Is this a violation of rights to privacy, or is DNA swabs legitimate police business?


If the DNA evidence, like any other evidence, is lawfully collected, handled, and tested, then it should be Constitutional.


It’s completely legitimate. If arrested, they can fingerprint you, and take your photo. This is just another means of identification. It’s minimally invasive, no more so than when they fingerprint you.

The police will always retain your photo, and fingerprints, even if you are found not guilty. No reason not to keep the DNA also.


I think it would be okay as long as we change our view of dna as incontrovertible proof

Scientists in Israel have demonstrated that it is possible to fabricate DNA evidence, undermining the credibility of what has been considered the gold standard of proof in criminal cases.

Tania Simoncelli, science adviser to the American Civil Liberties Union, said the findings were worrisome.

“DNA is a lot easier to plant at a crime scene than fingerprints,” she said. “We’re creating a criminal justice system that is increasingly relying on this technology.”

DNA Evidence Can Be Fabricated


Scientists can successfully and realistically fake DNA at a crime scene (without leaving their own DNA), but I seriously doubt your average criminal could, and if they could, they could probably plant some fingerprints as well.


This is extremely dangerous to say the least, the idea of a DNA database and having it collected on the whim of the arrest instead of conviction. It expands the government power to watch over us and control us.

Sen. Cruz Statement on SCOTUS Decision in Maryland v. King

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) released the following statement on today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Maryland v. King:

Today’s unfortunate U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Maryland v. King, by a vote of 5-4, expands government power, invades our liberty, and undermines our constitutional rights. The Court held that the police can forcibly take DNA samples from people who have been arrested—but have not been tried or convicted—of a serious offense. So now the government can capture, without a search warrant, the most personal information about an individual, and use it to search vast databases for unrelated offenses.

All 50 States already collect DNA from convicted felons. So this intrusion of liberty will matter only for those not convicted: the innocent and wrongly accused or those for whom there is insufficient evidence to convict.

As Justice Scalia rightly noted in dissent, “As an entirely predictable consequence of today’s decision, your DNA can be taken and entered into a national DNA database if you are ever arrested, rightly or wrongly, and for whatever reason.”

All of us should be alarmed by this significant step towards government as Big Brother. The excessive concentration of power in government is always inimical to liberty, and a national database of our DNA cannot be reconciled with the Fourth Amendment.

Accumulating DNA from arrestees—without warrant or probable cause to seize the DNA—is not designed to solve the crime for which the person has (rightly or wrongly) been arrested. Rather, it’s to test the DNA against a national database to potentially implicate them in other unsolved crimes. But the Constitution requires particularized suspicion of a specific crime; indeed, the Fourth Amendment was adopted to prohibit the British practice of “general warrants” targeting individuals absent specific evidence of wrongdoing.

Justice Scalia’s scathing dissent is right: If we really want a DNA database to solve more crimes, then why not require DNA samples to fly on airplanes, get driver’s licenses, or attend public schools?

If the government has good cause for needing the DNA sample—such as trying to match DNA at a crime scene to a particular person where there is other corroborating evidence—then the government can ask a judge for a search warrant. That’s what our Framers intended—judicial checks on extensive government power to invade our personal lives.

Law enforcement is a paramount function of government. But we cannot allow that government function to run roughshod over the Bill of Rights. And, as recent events involving the IRS have demonstrated, unchecked government power—and intrusive personal databases maintained on the citizenry—poses real risks to our liberty.


I am surprised that Ted Cruz has not taken a strong stance against the Patriot Act like Rand Paul has. Ted Cruz is more of a fiscal hawk rather than a libertarian.


Do you think that a photo and fingerprint database is also extremely dangerous?


If it’s being retained even when no conviction took place? Yeah.




Well that already happens and I dont often see to many complaints about that


Exactly. It’s just another identifier.


Why? If you get arrested, your fingerprints and photo are maintained.

BTW, if you’ve served in the military in the last 25 years, the DoD has your DNA. Possibly further back than that.

  1. Yeah, and I don’t care for that, either.
  2. I question that (the time frame). As to fingerprints in the military, one volunteers to join. One doesn’t volunteer for false or mistaken arrest.


I have been fingerprinted several times in my life due to work related requirements. I was fingerprinted twice in college while working for private security. There has been no DNA sample taken. I told my boss about a little can in my desk that has used diabetic test strips and lancets just in case my remains ever have to be positively IDed.

My wife was electronically fingerprinted as her US citizenship application was being processed. My son fingerprinted himself at a scouting merit badge day.


Do you recall in your medical record, a little foil packet?


When our church was robbed, people who had been in the church office where the safe was that was stolen were asked (not required) to be finger-printed, so that they could be eliminated as suspects. At a certain point (don’t remember what the cop said who did mine), they would be no longer needed. I suppose that would have been when it was established that, if our fingerprints were found there, it would eliminate the need for those fingerprints to be needed any longer. The cop was suspicious that it was a boy friend of one of the teen-age girls who attended our church. Once, on a routine patrol, he had seen someone who had that connection on the church grounds for no valid reason. Not that he suspected that particular person (or if he did, he didn’t say so), but that there was reason to believe that the person knew exactly where to look for the safe. We had a safe stolen twice. Now we no longer have a safe; the money is counted immediately, and taken to the bank as soon as the church service is over.


A foil packet? No.


My problem with the DNA swabbing is that it is conducted by a private enterprise; accountable to no one.
Not that our government has been terribly accountable for its actions of late, but at least with them, there’s SOME hope of recourse.


[quote=“UNTRugby, post:11, topic:39706”]
Well that already happens and I dont often see to many complaints about that
[/quote]Well, you just did. Don’t see too many complaints about the U.S. government spying on U.S. citizens either. In fact, some folks just turn it into a Bush-wasn’t-as-bad-as-Obama argument or Bush-sucked-more-than-Obama argument instead of being outraged at the criminal activities of our government, which do go back many, many decades.

Guess that makes it all A-OK!