MADISON, Wis. - A Republican on the Legislature's finance committee says a U.S. Supreme Court decision that seizing DNA upon arrest is legal should soothe concerns about the practice in Wisconsin.
Gov. Scott Walker's executive budget calls for police to take DNA from anyone arrested for a felony. Critics pointed out that the U.S. Supreme Court has been wrestling with whether Maryland's DNA-upon-arrest law violates arrestees' privacy, but the finance committee still approved the plan last month.
The Supreme Court ruled in the Maryland case Monday that taking DNA from arrestees is akin to fingerprinting and constitutional. Sen. Sheila Harsdorf of River Falls, a finance committee member who championed Walker's plan, released a statement calling the ruling a victory for crime victims. She says Wisconsin should move forward with confidence.