The Case Of Maryland V King

1670 Words7 Pages
As technology advances, the world is forced to adapt as an increasingly quick pace. Specifically, our justice system must consider the constitutionality of surveillance and other information gathering techniques and how they coincide with current interpretations of the Fourth Amendment which protects citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures. The Supreme Court addressed this issue in the 2013 case of Maryland v King explicitly related to the legality of DNA collection of individuals early in the booking process for serious crimes. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that pre-conviction DNA collection of those arrested for serious crimes is constitutional and does not violate the Fourth Amendment; a decision that will…show more content…
Justices Anthony Kennedy, John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Stephen Breyer, and Samuel Alito made up the majority of the court with the opinion founded upon the assertion that DNA testing is a comparable method of identification to fingerprinting and photographing arrestees. Justice Anthony Kennedy, wrote the opinion of the court, “sits at the court’s ideological center and joins the court’s four-member liberal wing about a third of the time when it divides along partisan lines.” As a Republican, this makes him stand out as he actively resisted the kind of political polarization faced by the court. Kennedy’s swing vote is important in the consideration of our formal and informal actors in the courts decision as he, and the other justices, are considered the formal actors. DNA testing is the most accurate way to identify an individual, and should therefore be used to increase the effectiveness of our justice system. This brings to light the issue of genetic privacy. Society questions the motives of government in DNA collection and floods the media, which acts as an informal actor on the court, with ideas of this invasion of privacy and encroachment of biological liberties. The 2010 article, Create a National DNA Database? stated that “such sensitive information is prone to misuse, and one should not have such blind faith in the security of government access to it.” EPIC, the electronic privacy
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