On Monday, Chief Justice Roberts issued an order staying a decision of the Maryland Court of Appeals, allowing Maryland’s DNA testing law to remain in effect until the U.S. Supreme Court acts on a cert. petition in the case. The order stayed the state court’s ruling that the state DNA Collection Act, which permits police to collect genetic material from those who have been arrested but not yet convicted, violates the Fourth Amendment. 

As Lyle Denniston of this blog reports, the Chief Justice said that there is a “fair prospect” that the U.S. Supreme Court will grant certiorari and uphold the law. Matt Zopotosky of the Washington Post calls the opinion “the latest development in an ongoing debate over whether — and when — it is legal to collect DNA from criminal suspects.”  Jonathen Stempel and Terry Baynes of Reuters, Tricia Bishop and Kevin Rector of the Baltimore Sun, Bill Mears of CNN, and the Associated Press all provide coverage.

Elise Viebeck of The Hill reports that a group seeking personhood rights for embryos filed a petition for certiorari on Monday, challenging an Oklahoma Supreme Court decision that blocked the circulation of a ballot petition that would define a fertilized human egg as a person. The ballot measure, if successful, would effectively ban abortion in Oklahoma. Tim Talley of the Associated Press (via the San Francisco Chronicle) offers detailed coverage of the petition.

And finally, others focus on recent statements made by Justice Scalia (as Marissa mentioned yesterday). Mike Dorf of Dorf on Law reacts to Justice Scalia’s denial on Fox News that the Court “is political at all”; Dorf asserts that “the fact that Justices occasionally surprise us by deviating from the ideological script hardly shows that political ideology isn’t doing most of the heavy lifting.”


  • Ruthann Robson of Constitutional Law Prof Blog illuminates the Court’s understanding of Olympic history.
  • Ilya Somin of the Volokh Conspiracy comments on a proposal for how opponents of the individual mandate should respond to the Court’s decision in the health care cases.

Posted in Round-up

Recommended Citation: Nabiha Syed, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jul. 31, 2012, 9:47 AM), http://www.scotusblog.com/2012/07/tuesday-round-up-135/