Scalia’s dissent in Maryland v King

Last month the Supreme Court made their decision on Maryland v. King. It gave the nod to the collection of DNA from suspects (not convicted criminals) of major crimes, and went against things like unreasonable searches and seizures (4th Ammendment). I meant to comment on it at the time, but it got lost in the shuffle. Luckily I came across Parker Higgins’ site, after finding him from other EFF staffers. I’m with him, as I don’t expect to agree with Justice Scalia very often, I found this dissent to be spot on.

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. That prohibition is categorical and without exception; it lies at the very heart of the Fourth Amendment. Whenever this Court has allowed a suspicionless search, it has insisted upon a justifying motive apart from the investigation of crime. […] Solving unsolved crimes is a noble objective, but it occupies a lower place in the American pantheon of noble objectives than the protection of our people from suspicionless law-enforcement searches. The Fourth Amendment must prevail.

Justice Scalia, U.S. Supreme Court Dissent in Maryland v. King, 2013

You can read the full decision in this PDF, with Scalia’s dissent starting on page 33.

 
comments powered by Disqus