Supreme Court rules DNA samples during arrests constitutional

Kia Farhang

A divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that police can take DNA samples from people arrested for serious crimes, news sources reported.

The decision, which overturns a ruling from Maryland’s highest court, is not without precedent, the Washington Post reported. 28 states allow police to take DNA samples while making arrests, usually to check if the arrestee is implicated in unsolved cases.

Dissenters and critics said such samples violate the Fourth Amendment because they're unreasonable searches.

The ruling may make DNA swabs as common as collecting fingerprints and photographs, according to the Los Angeles Times. The FBI has more than 11 million DNA samples on file.

“Make no mistake about it,” said Justice Antonin Scalia, the only conservative justice to dissent, in his opinion. “Your DNA can be taken and entered into a national database if you are ever arrested, rightly or wrongly, or for whatever reason.”