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Monday, June 3, 2013
WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) released the following statement on today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Maryland v. King:
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. 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.
All 50 States already collect DNA from convicted felons. So this intrusion of liberty will matter only for those not convicted: the innocent and wrongly accused or those for whom there is insufficient evidence to convict.
As Justice Scalia rightly noted in 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.”
All of us should be alarmed by this significant step towards government as Big Brother. The excessive concentration of power in government is always inimical to liberty, and a national database of our DNA cannot be reconciled with the Fourth Amendment.
Accumulating DNA from arrestees—without warrant or probable cause to seize the DNA—is not designed to solve the crime for which the person has (rightly or wrongly) been arrested. Rather, it’s to test the DNA against a national database to potentially implicate them in other unsolved crimes. But the Constitution requires particularized suspicion of a specific crime; indeed, the Fourth Amendment was adopted to prohibit the British practice of “general warrants” targeting individuals absent specific evidence of wrongdoing.
Justice Scalia’s scathing dissent is right: If we really want a DNA database to solve more crimes, then why not require DNA samples to fly on airplanes, get driver's licenses, or attend public schools?
If the government has good cause for needing the DNA sample—such as trying to match DNA at a crime scene to a particular person where there is other corroborating evidence—then the government can ask a judge for a search warrant. That’s what our Framers intended—judicial checks on extensive government power to invade our personal lives.
Law enforcement is a paramount function of government. But we cannot allow that government function to run roughshod over the Bill of Rights. And, as recent events involving the IRS have demonstrated, unchecked government power—and intrusive personal databases maintained on the citizenry—poses real risks to our liberty.
I am complete disagreement with the shameful decision and vote allowing openly gay youth into the BSA. I know this is only the first step with gay adult leaders to follow shortly. As an ordained minister who actually BELIEVES the Word of God, and as a father and grandfather, I can not and will not be part of an organization that would willingly and knowingly expose children to such filth, perversity and danger. This will be an absolute field day for homosexuals and pedophiles. What is next? Cross dressing merit badges? Awards for best makeup on a camping trip? What a sad joke the BSA has become. Please remove my name and all information in any way concerning me from your rolls and records. Do not mail, email, call or in any other way contact me ever again.
I pray God will protect the children and forgive the BSA leaders for what you are endorsing and promoting.
Phillip D. Burnette
FORMER Committee Member and Chaplain
"How often has public calamity been arrested on the very brink of ruin by the seasonable energy of a single man? Have we no such man amongst us? I am as sure as I am of my being, that one vigorous mind without office, without situation, without public functions of any kind (at a time when the want of such a thing is felt, as I am sure it is) I say, one such man, confiding in the aid of God, and full of just reliance in his own fortitude, vigour, enterprize and perseverance, would first draw to him some few like himself, and then that multitudes, hardly thought to be in existence, would appear and troop about him."
-- Edmund Burke, Letter to William Elliot, May 26, 1795