Appeals Court Upholds California DNA Law


Family Law Channel Host Judge Eugene Hyman explains the California DNA ruling.

(CSM) A federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled that a California law requiring the taking of a DNA sample from every adult arrested for a felony does not violate the Constitution’s prohibition on unreasonable searches. The panel of the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to uphold the law, which permits the collected samples to be stored in a nationwide database for potential use in future investigations. Challengers had argued in a class-action lawsuit that the DNA law – passed in 2004 as Proposition 69 – would facilitate the use of their DNA samples in future investigations without the government first obtaining a warrant or reasonable suspicion. They said such actions violate Fourth Amendment privacy protections. “We conclude that the government’s compelling interests far outweigh arrestees’ privacy concerns,” wrote Judge Milan Smith in a 33-page decision joined by Senior District Judge James Dale Todd. Read more at Christian Science Monitor