If police can fingerprint, why can't they take DNA samples? There are many good comments at the link above, including:
I know where you're going, a database of who and what everybody is.
Plus once your DNA is in a database it can be accessed for other databases such as insurance research etc.
It should not allow a police officer to poke around someone's DNA looking for medically relevant markers ( is this person prone to breast cancer? ) or racial ancestry ( is this person really 1/32 native american? ), just to give a couple examples of what should not be allowed.
If merely arresting a person requires a DNA record creation, then there is no 4th Amendment. Why not wait until the conviction, if any?
The National Health Service currently being called Medicare and Medicaide has the DNA test results available. I suspect it is already secretly in the database at Homeland Security.
I think the court makes the distinction that the fingerprints are being taken to identify this guy who says he's Sparticus, from the ten other Sparticus's in custody.
The DNA swab isn't easy enough to use in routine administration of the cell block, but is very useful in cold cases that have no connection to the current crime. and for which the police can make an investigatory guess, absent the swab they don't have yet. DNA allows bootstrapping...
Make DNA testing mandatory for child support and see how fast the court reconsiders this ruling. Especially if the mothers could be sued for fraud and the on going support cancelled.
Fingerprints contain information only about the tips of your fingers. DNA contains information about your health, who your relatives are, etc. That goes far beyond establishing the fact of who you are.And my personal favorite:
My concern is that with this ability to capture DNA upon arrest, we will have people arrested just so they can get their DNA. If I suspect Joe is guilty of rape, then I can arrest him for some driving violation and get his DNA to see if he is the rapist.I am absolutely a "law and order" kinda guy. The first law, though, is the Constitution, and I can find nothing wrong with Scalia's 4th Amendment reasoning or with the concerns quoted above.
Update, 6-4-13: Senator Cruz agrees:
“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,” Cruz said in a Monday evening statement. “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.”