DNA Law Gets a Third, SCOTUS-Inspired Look

     (CN) – The 9th Circuit agreed Wednesday to reconsider California’s DNA-collection law because the U.S. Supreme Court recently approved a similar statute in Maryland.
     In a brief order published Wednesday, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski said that the San Francisco-based federal appeals court would convene an 11-judge panel in December to consider the issue for a second time.
     The California law allows police officers to collect a DNA sample from anyone arrested for a felony.
     Elizabeth Haskell, who was arrested in 2009 at a peace rally for allegedly obstructing an officer, joined the American Civil Liberties Union and others in a challenge to the law’s constitutionality.
     Haskell claims that police threatened to charge with a separate misdemeanor when she refused to allow them to swab her.
     An initial, three-judge appellate panel upheld the law last year, and an 11-judge en banc panel of the 9th Circuit reheard the case in September 2012.
     Before the panel could issue its verdict, the Supreme Court decided Maryland v. King in June 2013, finding nothing unconstitutional about a similar law in Maryland.
     That prompted the 9th Circuit to schedule a second en banc hearing on the California case. Kozinski said Wednesday that the hearing would be held in San Francisco during the week of Dec. 9. He promised more details in a separate order to come.

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