Blog of Rights

Michael
Risher
Supreme Court Ruling a Blow to Genetic Privacy

Supreme Court Ruling a Blow to Genetic Privacy

By Michael Risher, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California at 5:29pm
The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision upholding Maryland's arrestee DNA testing law is a serious blow to genetic privacy. The ruling allows the police to seize the DNA of innocent Americans who have never been convicted of any sort of crime, without a search warrant. And as Justice Scalia makes clear in his scathing dissent, the majority opinion goes against decades of precedent that makes it clear that the police cannot search an individual for evidence of a crime (and that's clearly what they are doing here) without a specific reason to think that the search will actually uncover some evidence.
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