Open wide and say 'nah'

Court rules government can take genetic information on arrest

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It’s difficult even for news junkies to keep up with all the scandals and excesses of government these days.

With everything going on in Washington, the recent Supreme Court ruling on DNA evidence might have slipped too easily off the radar. We’re just now getting a chance to discuss it here – but that is no reflection on the level of concern we have about it.

The high court ruled that police may extract DNA evidence from those arrested for “serious” crimes, whatever that means.

The truth is, that distinction – of “serious” crimes – won’t mean anything in the long run. The camel is in the tent.

“Make no mistake about it,” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in a fiery 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.”

Conservatives who were up in arms over even the potential of a national gun registry: How do you feel about the government keeping a national DNA registry?

“The Fourth Amendment forbids searching a person for evidence of a crime when there is no basis for believing the person is guilty of the crime or is in possession of incriminating evidence,” Scalia wrote. “That prohibition is categorical and without exception; it lies at the very heart of the Fourth Amendment.”

The counter-argument is that we already are subject to fingerprinting upon arrest. Absolutely. But that is little different from taking a mug shot; it’s a superficial identifier.

Having your DNA information is something else all together, as is the method of obtaining it. Staining your finger is one thing, but sticking something in your mouth and obtaining bodily fluids is quite another. And for authorities to have your genetic blueprint is another thing entirely.

In effect, the Fourth Amendment’s promise that the “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated” has been broken. But only, interestingly enough, with regard to the most sacred of items among the list of “persons, houses, papers, and effects”: your person.

Your houses, papers and effects are now more sacred than your body, as far as this country’s laws are concerned.

What if you refuse? Will they strap you down and force your mouth open? Isn’t this becoming just a little like a dark science fiction story?

We understand authorities’ desire to collect DNA evidence. We realize it will solve some crimes. But at what cost?

The government promises it won’t abuse its unfettered access to our DNA. Forgive us for being skeptical. We suspect, as does Justice Scalia, that the nation’s founders would be even more so.

“I doubt that the proud men who wrote the charter of our liberties would have been so eager to open their mouths for royal inspection,” he wrote.

Indeed, the Constitution and Bill of Rights are a warning from the grave not to trust government.

The past few weeks have been a similar message, with revelations that the government has been abusing its authority to tax by harassing groups and individuals of certain political persuasions and spying on millions of us. The government also targeted the news media for spying under the most dubious of rationales.

More and more, the government is asking us to trust it – while it gives us every reason not to.

It remains for us to open wide and say “nah.”

Comments (24) Add comment
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Jon Lester
2285
Points
Jon Lester 06/11/13 - 02:01 am
8
0
I thought it was very telling when DiFi advocated for

giving center-fire variants of the "scary black guns" to Syrian jihadists, so soon after trying to take away semi-automatic models from we the people, and that was over a month before she and our own Zaxby appeared together, speaking with one voice, as chair and ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, in defense of the NSA's PRISM program, so that's why I've shed all remaining doubt that we are, in fact, ruled by a fascist duopoly, and I've called for everyone to cast third-party protest votes at every possible opportunity, if for no other reason than to dilute the legitimacy of the establishment.

Riverman1
82099
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Riverman1 06/11/13 - 04:34 am
10
0
OTHER Swabs

It does appear the attack on the Bill or Rights is snowballing. Locally, we see it with roadblocks all over Richmond County. The founding fathers were very clear about their fears of random searches and questioning of citizens without cause and legal warrants. Nothing is more sacred in the Constitution than the Bill of Rights.

So now DNA swabbing of your mouth by nonmedical personnel will be allowed if you are arrested. Things have gotten so bad, I won’t be surprised if you pull up to a road checkpoint, are told to prove you haven’t been drinking by doing sobriety tests and then told to open wide for the DNA swab. What’s next, rectal swabs on everyone? Where does it all stop?

carcraft
25149
Points
carcraft 06/11/13 - 05:40 am
7
3
The Constitution is a living document

The Liberals keep telling us the Constitution is a living document and like all living things it is dying. Obama said he wanted to fundamentally change America and I think he has....:(

effete elitist liberal
3112
Points
effete elitist liberal 06/11/13 - 07:39 am
5
6
Scalia and Ryan

For Mike Ryan, the "hero" of today's piece clearly is Justice Antonin Scalia, forcefully defending yet another government encroachment on our Constitutional liberties. It is true that the descent in this case, Maryland v. King, was written by Scalia, SCOTUS's most outspoken conservative.
But it is typical of Mike Ryan's fundamental dishonesty that in championing Scalia, he leaves the impression that it was the court's conservatives who held the Constitutional line. Why did Ryan fail to mention that in this 5-4 decision, the three other dissenting justices were
the three liberal women justices, or that 4 of the 5 affirming justices were all conservatives? In fact, the alignment of the justices here clearly shows it was the conservative side of the current court largely responsible for this assault on our 4th Amendment rights and the liberal side largely responsible for our defense. Another "so sad" chapter in Ryan's political gamesmanship.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 06/11/13 - 07:46 am
6
5
I didn't see Ryan bring up
Unpublished

I didn't see Ryan bring up the word liberal OR conservative in regards to Scalia or any of the other justices. Looks like it was YOU EEL that is trying to make divisive issue about it. The editorial was about civil liberties, not about who is a liberal judge and who is a conservative judge.

effete elitist liberal
3112
Points
effete elitist liberal 06/11/13 - 08:35 am
5
7
Nice try, Humble

The piece was in part about which justice on the Supreme Court deserves credit for defending our civil liberties. Ryan clearly asserts it is Scalia, an extremely high profile conservative, who has earned the plaudits and our respect and admiration. If Scalia has Ryan's approval, Ginsburg, Kagan, and Sotomayor should too, and yet we read not a thing about them, only Scalia. To claim, as you do, Humble, that this piece is apolitical is simply disingenuous.

effete elitist liberal
3112
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effete elitist liberal 06/11/13 - 08:41 am
5
6
"living document"???

carcraft: if Maryland v. King is another example of the court treating the Constitution as a "living document," then in this instance it is the court's conservative majority that deserves your scorn. After all, I don't recall any talk among the Founding Fathers about DNA, do you? Of course the Constitution is a "living document," in the sense that it must constantly be used to evaluate many things undreamed of by our founders.

faithson
5130
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faithson 06/11/13 - 09:00 am
5
3
the end justifies the means...

now here is a hard one... personal information being collected by the state. As only those who have a run in with the law will be effected, there seems to be a 'reason' for this collection. In a talk once with a doctor I respect, DNA was brought up as a means to help the criminal justice system do its job, the apprehension of criminals. Now here is the rub, to effect a more accurate justice system do we need the over collection of defendents personal information in the form of DNA. I for one have a basic understanding of what information can be determined from such a collection and find that the end will justify the means when many future criminal cases come to furation and DNA will be shown to have been instrumental. Rape comes to mind, let alone a variety of other crimes.

Riverman1
82099
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Riverman1 06/11/13 - 09:15 am
5
2
Scalia was the one who wrote

Scalia was the one who wrote the dissenting opinion. That's pretty cut and dried. He happens to be conservative. Would you rather he had not dissented because he is conservative?

rmwhitley
5542
Points
rmwhitley 06/11/13 - 09:37 am
0
0
Libbies wouldn't know
Unpublished

the difference between the Defacation in Depends and the Declaration of Independence anymore than they would be familiar with the U.S. Constitution as opposed to US is Constipated.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 06/11/13 - 09:53 am
5
5
To claim that it is
Unpublished

To claim that it is political, with nothing but your hunch is equally if not more disingenuous. How about you provide us a link to the descent that was written by Ginsburg, Kagan, and Sotomayor.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 06/11/13 - 09:56 am
4
4
"As only those who have a run
Unpublished

"As only those who have a run in with the law will be effected, there seems to be a 'reason' for this collection."

This would be easier to believe if the government of late had given a reason to trust that it would only be used for the proper reason. I give you the example of the IRS. They are supposed to remain apolitical, yet they didn't. What reason do we have to believe that the NSA isn't as easily corrupted?

Bizkit
30563
Points
Bizkit 06/11/13 - 10:08 am
3
0
This should be interesting

This should be interesting related to the DNA patent case before the court. They must be going to rule against Myriad and other companies because if these segments of gene are patented then criminal acquisition of DNA could be problematic. I think this could create a slippery slope-with the discovery of genetic contribution of various behaviors-violence, pedophilia, etc. Then court case defenses would argue people can't "help" themselves because of their genetic makeup-no more than a homosexual could quit liking the same gender. Violent behavior is already known to possess a significant genetic component. In a society that is looking for excuses and no personal responsibility then this is inevitable. I think people are swinging this two-edged sword without an inkling of the possible consequences=comparable to a nuclear bomb.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 06/11/13 - 10:14 am
3
2
What does "furation" mean?
Unpublished

What does "furation" mean?

Bizkit
30563
Points
Bizkit 06/11/13 - 10:27 am
5
1
Once your genetic information

Once your genetic information is "on-line" what is going to stop enemies or insurance companies from mining your info about possible diseases risks, etc. Further what if you have the genetic potential to "possibly" acquire a disease and they let you know-I just as soon not because you may not develop it-epigenetic factors. You could worry yourself sick.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 06/11/13 - 10:31 am
4
2
Or if this information gets
Unpublished

Or if this information gets leaked to insurance companies (I know..the government NEVER leaks information) and they use it to charge higher rates to people with certain genetic predispositions. Again...what reason has the government given us to trust them with this information?

effete elitist liberal
3112
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effete elitist liberal 06/11/13 - 10:53 am
4
6
HumbleA

So nice to see you agreeing this time with the Supreme Court's three liberal women justices, and disagreeing with four of the Court's conservative male justices. Apolitics making strange bedfellows???

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 06/11/13 - 11:00 am
5
3
I agree with the one's that
Unpublished

I agree with the one's that make the right decision. Unlike some (smh) I don't follow party lines. I prefer to think for myself.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 06/11/13 - 11:38 am
2
2
Wow...thinking for yourself
Unpublished

Wow...thinking for yourself warrants a "thumbs down?" Oh the trolls.

itsanotherday1
41827
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itsanotherday1 06/11/13 - 12:13 pm
5
0
I would not be opposed to the

I would not be opposed to the collection of any type of personal identifying material from individuals CONVICTED of crimes. People who are falsely charged or acquitted should have those records destroyed.

burninater
9396
Points
burninater 06/11/13 - 03:23 pm
3
5
From now on, whenever I see a

From now on, whenever I see a poster obsess "where are all the liberals?", I'll say to myself, "There's an Independent Thinker!".

The giggles should last the entire day.

Bizkit
30563
Points
Bizkit 06/11/13 - 03:25 pm
3
1
I believe all this will

I believe all this will inevitably lead to a the practice of eugenics in our society. We have all the tools we just need to stop letting that silly sanctity of life crap get in the way of a perfect society-once we rid ourselves of the "losers". Late term abortions may extend upto a couples years of age-eliminate those bad kids and bad genes before they take root in our society. Ah it takes a little sacrifice of freedom just like with terrorism. Initially only certain people will be allowed to breed because most of society is just trash-genetically speaking and nothing personal. But crime and drug use will disappear as we develop into superior physical and moral beings. Sounds great. We can start mining genomes for trash gene and pre-picking all the losers we need to eliminate. Obama likes to pick the winners.

Grace422
239
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Grace422 06/11/13 - 04:07 pm
2
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Insurance Companies

Insurance companies are already using DNA swab's for life insurance and have been for some time now for folks.

dichotomy
31962
Points
dichotomy 06/11/13 - 05:10 pm
3
0
"I would not be opposed to

"I would not be opposed to the collection of any type of personal identifying material from individuals CONVICTED of crimes."

Yes, I think that would be the most justified way of doing it. The way things are going now the cops, or the Feds, could trump up some charge, arrest you, take your DNA, and then say "oops" and turn you loose....but they've legally gotten your DNA on file.

Recent revelations have a LOT of people no longer trusting their government. I have not trusted them for decades. There is not a single government database, including our most TOP SECRET, compartmentalized information that has not been leaked. IRS records, Medical records, intelligence information, etc, etc. The DNA information WILL be leaked and analyzed by insurance companies or used by the "death panel" to make Obamacare decisions.

Of course, I will be the first to admit that I am always happy when I hear that new DNA evidence from some bums arrest clears up 5 or 10 cold case rapes or murders.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 06/11/13 - 05:30 pm
4
2
"Insurance companies are
Unpublished

"Insurance companies are already using DNA swab's for life insurance and have been for some time now for folks."

For starters, none that I have ever had....and second, you have a choice whether or not you want to do business with them. Apples and oranges.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 06/11/13 - 05:33 pm
6
3
Whenever I see liberals tap
Unpublished

Whenever I see liberals tap dance around and REFUSE to condemn Obama no matter what he does I think to myself, "There's an Independent Thinker!".

The giggles should last the entire day.

burninater
9396
Points
burninater 06/11/13 - 07:00 pm
4
3
Agreed, HA. Our two examples

Agreed, HA. Our two examples show equivalent absences of the capacity to think independently.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 06/12/13 - 07:08 am
3
3
Inviting debate from one's
Unpublished

Inviting debate from one's adversaries does NOT show a lack of capacity to think independently, but it does often show that your adversaries do not have a willingness to back up their stance with facts.

Darby
25003
Points
Darby 06/12/13 - 04:31 pm
2
2
"it does often show that your adversaries do

not have a willingness to back up their stance with facts."

.
Doubt that "willingness" plays any role whatsoever. More often, it's a paucity of facts.

While those circumstances, more often than not are attributable to Democrats, I for one, as a "flaming" hardcore conservative, can come up with no facts to explain why a majority of conservatives on the Supremes would turn their backs on the Fourth Amendment.

All the more reason to fiercely and jealously guard the Second.
.

"Yet let's be content, and the times lament, you see the world turn'd upside down." ----- From an old British Ballad.

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