ACLU Comment on Supreme Court DNA Swab Ruling (Maryland v. King)

June 3, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: 212-549-2666, media@aclu.org

The following can be attributed to Steven R. Shapiro, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, in response to the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision upholding the DNA testing of arrestees in Maryland v. King:

"Today's decision creates a gaping new exception to the Fourth Amendment. As Justice Scalia's dissent convincingly demonstrates, DNA testing of arrestees has little to do with identification and everything to do with solving unresolved crimes. While no one disputes the importance of that interest, the Fourth Amendment has long been understood to mean that the police cannot search for evidence of a crime – and all nine justices agreed that DNA testing is a search – without individualized suspicion. Today's decision eliminates that crucial safeguard. At the same time, it's important to recognize that other state laws on DNA testing are even broader than Maryland’s and may present issues that were not resolved by today's ruling."

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