From AP - News Local/State -

US Supreme Court: Police Can Take DNA Swabs from Arrestees

U.S. Supreme Court justices

The United States Supreme Court. Top row (left to right): Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer, Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, and Associate Justice Elena Kagan. Bottom row (left to right): Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, and Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Wikimedia Commons)

A divided Supreme Court says police can legally take DNA without a warrant from those arrested in hopes of using it to solve old cases.

The justices, on a 5-4 vote, say taking DNA samples from people who have been arrested for various crimes, long before their guilt or innocence has been proven, does not violate the Constitution.

At least 28 states and the federal government now take DNA swabs after arrests. But a Maryland court said it was illegal for that state to take Alonzo King's DNA without approval from a judge. That court said King had "a sufficiently weighty and reasonable expectation of privacy against warrantless, suspicionless searches.''

But Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the Supreme Court, called DNA cheek swabs "a legitimate police booking procedure'' like fingerprinting or photographing.