June 3, 2013

"Mississippi lawmakers have embarked on a controversial campaign to discourage older men from having sex with teenagers."

"Starting in July, doctors and midwives in the state will be required by law to collect samples of umbilical cord blood from babies born to some women under the age of 16. Officials will analyze the samples and try to identify the fathers through matches in the state's DNA database."

NPR reports today... the same day we hear the Supreme Court's ruling that allows police to routinely collect DNA from anyone who's been arrested.
... Matthew Steffey, a constitutional law professor at the Mississippi College law school in Jackson, said the measure could raise a "hornet's nest" of legal problems. "It is not at all clear that the legislature can deputize health care workers to collect evidence without a warrant," he said.
Here's a news report on today's Supreme Court case:
The police may take DNA samples from people arrested in connection with serious crimes, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday in a 5-to-4 decision.

The federal government and 28 states authorize the practice, and law enforcement officials say it is a valuable tool for investigating unsolved crimes....

Justice Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion that the swabbing procedure was a search under the Fourth Amendment, meaning it had to be justified as reasonable. It was, he said, given “the need for law enforcement officers in a safe and accurate way to process and identify the persons and possessions they must take into custody.”
To identify the persons and put tham into the machine that will match them up with unsolved crimes where DNA has been collected, like all those cases where underage women have given birth.

Shouldn't the states also be collecting some clumps of cells from all the various abortions performed on underaged women? 

81 comments:

Methadras said...

Double Epic Facepalm.

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John said...

Ann will know much more about the legal issues than I do but in principle I am for it.

In any case where a 14 year old has a baby, a crime has most likely been committed (unless the father is under 18, I guess)

The state has a duty to track down that criminal and land on him like a truckload of bricks.

Even if the father is under 18 and it is not rape, the state still has a duty to identify him and get him to pay child support.

The above, except for child support, would hold true for any abortion as well.

Yeah, if the mother won't identify the father, track him down.

John Henry

John said...

When they take that umbilical blood, is it the mother's blood or the baby's? Perhaps one of our doctors can answer that.

I am guessing that the legalities would be different if it is the baby's.

On the other hand, the 14 year old mother is a minor as well so perhaps not.

John Henry

edutcher said...

I can see where crimes like familial rape might be thwarted with this, but the old, "what can go wrong?", is in the back of my head.

edutcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John said...

Agree Edutcher. I would like to see some discussion about what could go wrong.

As I said, I agree in principle but would like to hear all sides of the argument.

John Henry

AprilApple said...

Meth - lol - how long have you been waiting to drop that?!

AReasonableMan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jr565 said...

John wrote:
On the other hand, the 14 year old mother is a minor as well so perhaps not.

But if she wants to get the morning after pill, or an abortion, no restriction and no parental notification necessary.

jr565 said...

If you can get an abortion without notifying your parents about it and you're 14, then you're old enough to date people who impregnated you. It already happened, and you already proved, by your pregnancy, and by your abortion that you are old enough to have sex with whomever and that society thinks you should be able to kill your kid.

Jim said...

Phill Kline tried that in Kansas and the liberals went nuts.

Mark O said...

The Fourth Amendment took on water today.

I consider it proof of DOOM that this statement is in a dissent:

Solving unsolved crimes is a noble objective, but it occupies a lower place in the American pantheon of noble objectives than the protection of our people from suspicionless law-enforcement searches.

Oppression. For real.

Pettifogger said...

"Shouldn't the states also be collecting some clumps of cells from all the various abortions performed on underaged women?"

The feminists will be in a quandary. They'll want culpable males punished, but they won't care for the disincentive to get an abortion. I suspect the latter consideration will win out for them.

Saint Croix said...

To me the real objection is the DNA database. Did you know the government now requires stock brokers to be fingerprinted? Along with lawyers. So that's where the fight should be.

But I see nothing objectionable with requiring doctors or midwives to give evidence in a rape case. You know the child has been raped, and there's nothing wrong with the police trying to find the criminal.

It's similar to requiring doctors to report a gunshot wound to the police. In fact it's a stronger argument, because in that case there's only the suspicion of a crime, while in this case there's a certainty.

Shouldn't the states also be collecting some clumps of cells from all the various abortions performed on underaged women?

Yes, they should.

Lem said...

Shouldn't the states also be collecting some clumps of cells from all the various abortions performed on underaged women?

Althouse proceeds to spot a "hornet's nest" of legal problems.

Deftly done profe.

AReasonableMan said...

There was an unexpectedly good article by Julian Assange the other day on the creeping, largely complete, surveillance state facilitated by Google. Combine that with the coming DNA database, which is inevitable, and our privacy is gone.

In a relatively short time, technologies, which are very valuable, have eliminated our expectations of personal freedom, without anyone getting a vote on the matter.

I feel this loss very strongly, yet cannot see any way out of this progression.

kentuckyliz said...

If we tolerate our second and first amendment rights being chipped away at, then why not tolerate an eroded fourth?

Riots in the streets after Kelo might have signaled to the government that we will not tolerate the infringement of our rights.

Methadras, are you facepalming our esteemed blogress, or the SCOTUS? Or both?

Also, verifying my memory--identical twins have the same DNA, non?

kentuckyliz said...

I think Big Brother will be most interested in Big Data, and the Internet of Everything will be the way to make it happen. Slippery slope to Gattaca, the Singularity, and the Matrix. Insert your favorite techno dystopia stories here.

Gahrie said...

1) From what I understand, 30 or so states and the federal government have already been collecting such DNA samples.

2) From what I understand, the DNA is collected contemporanously to fingerprinting. I see no reason why a DNA database is more intrusive than a fingerprint database. It is just more accurate and useful.

3) Yes, evidence should be collected when underage girls give birth or have an abortion. By definition a crime has been committed. It will never happen though, because the numbers would be too shocking.

Methadras said...

AprilApple said...

Meth - lol - how long have you been waiting to drop that?!


I use it very rarely, but considering the Scalia dissent on DNA usage in criminality coupled with this, I believe it was warranted.

ken in sc said...

What the trailer park girl said after her first sexual experience; 'Daddy, get off me, you're mashing my cigarettes'.

Lem said...

What could Kennedy be thinking?

The cats out the bag... Obamacare is law... its going to happen sooner or later...

Why not now?

Adorned with flowery flourishes... 'taxing the credulity of the credulous'... like that.

Illuninati said...

It used to be that parents had special rights and responsibilities towards their children, since a parent above anyone else should be concerned about the welfare of the child. The state only stepped in when the parents were unable to provide the needed support the children needed. That is no more.

The politicians think they own the children now, in every way, including those rights which formerly belonged to the parents. After all, who is more concerned about the welfare of the child, the parents, or government bureaucrats? Their answer is bureaucrats. Because the politicians own the children, the politicians believe they can assert those rights at will without evidence that the parents are shirking their duties. According to their brave new world taking blood from a baby, who has committed no crime without the consent of the mother who is also a minor is their absolute right.

Methadras said...

kentuckyliz said...

Methadras, are you facepalming our esteemed blogress, or the SCOTUS? Or both?


No, not Ann. She is simply bringing this issue to light which has all the ingredients of why her blog is great; legal, social, political, human, ramifications, consequences intended/unintended. This is a post that I stand up and applaud when she posts them. No Definitely not against Ann on this one.

This is couple with the SCOTUS decision.

Methadras said...

Lem said...

What could Kennedy be thinking?

The cats out the bag... Obamacare is law... its going to happen sooner or later...

Why not now?

Adorned with flowery flourishes... 'taxing the credulity of the credulous'... like that.


This why I clearly put the blame on CJ Roberts. He had the kill shot dead in his sights and he deliberately pointed the gun to the left and didn't fire. He fucked us all.

Lem said...

If we tolerate our second and first amendment rights being chipped away at, then why not tolerate an eroded fourth?

A Fare Share.

Bender said...

An umbilical cord, the blood therein, and the placenta as a whole are all organs of the baby, not the mother.

Bender said...

Given that sexual relations with an underage person is a felony, commonly known as statutory rape, collecting cord blood would be no more unusual than any other rape kit. In fact, it would be less invasive since it would not require even touching either baby or mother.

edutcher said...

Lem said...

What could Kennedy be thinking?

The cats out the bag... Obamacare is law... its going to happen sooner or later...


No, for good or ill, the Court left the door open for its repeal.

Now, it's up to us to put enough people with the guts to do it in Congress.

AReasonableMan said...

Contra the ridiculous liberal-facism meme, it is notable that it was the left wing judges that most reliably voted for freedom.

kentuckyliz said...

Government health workers should collect DNA samples from all school children. After all, some are future criminals and some are future victims.

It's for the children.

Lem said...

I'm not a lawyer so please indulge me... if you want to.

When was the last time we had a Constitutional Convention?

Shouldn't we perhaps be having one soon before what's left of it becomes unrecognizable.

Sam L. said...

Shouldn't the states also be collecting some clumps of cells from all the various abortions performed on underaged women?"

Most EXCELLENT point!

YoungHegelian said...

Of course, thanks to NPR's racial cravenness, there's no mention of just what segment of the population will bear the brunt of this legislation (I'll give you a hint: Mississippi has the highest percentage of black residents of any state in the Union.)

Give it a few years and NPR will be back with a report on the horrible, disparate impact of this "controversial campaign", because, well, we all know those Southern racists will always find some way of sticking it to black men.

AReasonableMan said...

Lem said...
When was the last time we had a Constitutional Convention?

Shouldn't we perhaps be having one soon before what's left of it becomes unrecognizable.


But this is the issue. The totalitarian state that we have entered is entirely due to the progress of nominally benign technologies. It has very little to do with the law. 1950's technologies could not support a totalitarian state without an enormous expenditure of effort on the part of the state. Now it is cheap and easy.

Illuninati said...

Bender said:

"Given that sexual relations with an underage person is a felony, commonly known as statutory rape, collecting cord blood would be no more unusual than any other rape kit."

I didn't know it was a felony for an underage person to have sex with an underage person. If that were the case, when the schools give out condoms are they accessories to the crime? If underage sex is not illegal, a pregnant underage mother is not primae facie evidence of a crime. Therefore the politicians have no right to assume there is a crime, unless they own the child, in which child they can assert their parental rights to the information.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

I have no problem with taking DNA from the babies (born or aborted)of under-aged girls.

What I'm pissed about is the databank opinion was based on a lie! They are not taking the DNA to ID these guys.

We are approaching dangerous territory when the government seems to be out of control. Every branch of government has been discredited. That should concern people.

Michael K said...

When I was on my OB rotation as an intern in 1967, I delivered 14 year old multips. Those were not their first babies.

Drago said...

ARM: "The totalitarian state that we have entered is entirely due to the progress of nominally benign technologies."

I get your point, but the fact is that no technology is "nominally benign".

Technology is what it is.

It is the intent of those who have the authority/power/capability to wield that technology that determines the degree to which the tech is "benign" or not.

And even then, you'll have an argument.

For instance, do you remember the Europe-wide marches by the leftists (helpfully funded by the Soviets, which was proven after the wall came down) which protested the US moving intermediate range nuclear missiles into Western Europe?

How can you forget it! The paper mache heads alone were worth remembering.

Of course, less well remembered was the fact the US moved the missiles in AFTER the Soviets had already moved their intermediate range missiles into Eastern Europe (pointed at the west, naturally).

So here we have 2 sets of intermediate range nuclear missiles.

According to the left at the time, the Soviet missiles were worth not a problem at all.

"benign".

Now, those US missiles, according to the left, hastened into place by the despised Reagan, THOSE missiles were most assuredly NOT benign.

I hope you take my meaning.

Lem said...

Shouldn't the states also be collecting some clumps of cells from all the various abortions performed on underaged women?

Some underage women are more worthy of protection... or something.

btw... shouldn't the term be underage girls?... or is that because they got pregnant so that makes them women even thought they are still underage... so that makes it rape then.

Still, the term 'underage women' sounds clunky? to me.

ampersand said...

Will this put Maury Povich out of work?

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

AReasonableMan said...
Contra the ridiculous liberal-facism meme, it is notable that it was the left wing judges that most reliably voted for freedom.

6/3/13, 7:05 PM

This is my hobby horse. I believe Americans are getting to be more and more libertarian(ish).

One of the two big parties will start to embrace the "leave us the hell alone" mentality.

The Dems love big intrusive nanny state, Life of Julia crap. Also don't forget Kelo.

If I had to guess, the Republicans would be the most likely to get libertarian. But maybe not with their ties to corporations and religious right.

It will be interesting to watch.

Drago said...

Lem: "Shouldn't we perhaps be having one soon before what's left of it becomes unrecognizable."

I would suggest that having a constitutional convention in this day and age would immediately yield a leftists dream of whittled away "rights" supplanted by the all knowing, all caring, government empowerment that alone can guarantee our happiness and fulfillment!

Bender said...

For those opposed to this, claiming some constitutional violation, just exactly whose rights are being violated here??

Drago said...

ARM: "Contra the ridiculous liberal-facism meme,..."

I completely agree.

We can all rest comfortably knowing that federal institutions and agencies can always be counted on not to apply political tests in the exercise of what is supposed to be a fair and neutral enforcement of the law.

Yep.

No problems on that front.

At. All.

Alex said...

Well that's a bunch of Republican perverts to throw in jail!

Bender said...

Stated another way, who has standing to object to the collection?

Bob_R said...

So what is the over/under on how many years it will be before everyone in the USA has their DNA encoded into a national database. Today it is everyone who has been arrested a "major crime." How long before "arrested" gets changed to "questioned?" Before the word "major" gets dropped. Is it really that hard to imagine a court that says the state has a compelling interesting in knowing our exact identity at all times?

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

The idea of a constitutional convention freaks me out. There is no way I would trust this current crop of politicians to make any reasonable or rational changes. I think we would end up with a 2,000 page constitution that we would have to pass to see what is in it.

annk said...

A 16-year-old "woman?" what kind of Orwellian world is this?

Oso Negro said...

Old guys who dig young chicks need to hire homosexual consultants to learn how to properly mainstream their perversion. The trail is blazed. With gay guidance and a bit of money, this behavior can be mainstreamed in a generation. The gays are already working on it.

MadisonMan said...

Is today's theme DO SOMETHING?

Methadras said...

Bob_R said...

So what is the over/under on how many years it will be before everyone in the USA has their DNA encoded into a national database. Today it is everyone who has been arrested a "major crime." How long before "arrested" gets changed to "questioned?" Before the word "major" gets dropped. Is it really that hard to imagine a court that says the state has a compelling interesting in knowing our exact identity at all times?


It wouldn't be that hard to do. India, for example wanted to biometrically capture all 1.1 billion of their citizens iris' in 10 years. That also includes the untouchables.

Bender said...

Let's change the facts a little bit.

Underage mother gives birth. Because she's underage, she can't work, so she applies for public assistance.

The welfare office, rightly not wanting to stick taxpayers with the bill, go and get a court order to establish paternity in order to go collect child support from the father.

Is that a violation of anyone's rights?

Just to be clear, such paternity actions happen every day.

Lem said...

I would suggest that having a constitutional convention in this day and age would immediately yield a leftists dream of whittled away "rights" supplanted by the all knowing, all caring, government empowerment that alone can guarantee our happiness and fulfillment!

Oh shit that's right... I forgot the convention would be RUN by the people that brought us Obamacare.

We are fucked.

Lem said...

Is today's theme DO SOMETHING?

Its better than doing nothing.

ErnieG said...

The idea of a constitutional convention scares the hell out of me. The new Constitution would have all sorts of "positive rights" and would do away with those pesky "negative rights" like "Congress shall make no law..."

MadisonMan said...

Is it better than nothing? The Government "helping" to "fix" a problem is better than nothing?

Lem said...

The Government "helping" to "fix" a problem is better than nothing?

What are we talking about?

Lem said...

At this point I'm waiting to get the word that is safe to panic.

I wouldn't want to rush ahead of anybody, jump the restart and be sent to the back ala Jimi Johnson ;)

Synova said...

Isn't it normal to get a warrant to search if there is evidence (not proof) that a crime is likely to have been committed? Are the chances really that great that the father is also 14?

And yes... it would make sense if DNA was collected from born babies, that DNA also be collected from aborted babies of underage girls.

Joe said...

Yes, this happens, but is this a real problem?

Second point, am I the only who sees a really bizarre problem with the statement "It is our hope that we can deter men over the age of 21 from having sex, particularly with girls 16 years and younger..."

So a 21-year-old man can have sex with a 15 year-old-girl, but not a 22-year-old man? If the girl is old enough to make the choice to have sex, how the hell does the age of the man make a difference?

(It gets more bizarre, the 15-year-old could marry a 60-year-old with parental consent.)

Joe said...

Oh and don't forget "Of the 6,100 births to teenagers in 2012, 111 were babies born to girls under the age of 15."

So, the state of Mississippi is going to burn through money for 111 girls, most of whom were probably knocked up by boys about their same age.

Terry said...

When you read Obama's words, consider, for a moment, that he was a lecturer on 14th amendment jurisprudence. He made a living arguing that the government was not interpreting the 14th amendment properly.
Perhaps he could find an ex Manzanar inmate to appear with him when he urges us to trust the politicians and officials in DC.
The man is a frikkin' moron.

“Well, the government is us. These officials are elected by you. They are elected by you. I am elected by you. I am constrained, as they are constrained, by a system that our Founders put in place. It’s a government of and by and for the people.”

Synova said...

"So, the state of Mississippi is going to burn through money for 111 girls, most of whom were probably knocked up by boys about their same age."

Do you really think that 14 year old girls (or younger) are almost always having sex with 14 year old boys?

How many 14 year old boys even have pubic hair?

AReasonableMan said...

Bill, Republic of Texas said...
This is my hobby horse. I believe Americans are getting to be more and more libertarian(ish).

One of the two big parties will start to embrace the "leave us the hell alone" mentality.


In principle the democrats have an easier path to this position on this particular issue since it involves more rather than less regulation of commercial databases, and greater rather than fewer limits on the use of DNA databases by law enforcement. On the other hand, the democrats appear to lack any discernible ability to think strategically.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

"Some women" under the age of 16? Why not all of them? How would you know which to test and which not?

I think Scalia had much the best of the argument in Maryland v. King. The mystery is what Thomas is doing in the majority.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Shouldn't the states also be collecting some clumps of cells from all the various abortions performed on underaged women?

But some might think those cells are people.

Rhythm and Balls said...

The Dems love big intrusive nanny state, Life of Julia crap. Also don't forget Kelo.

Which wouldn't have been possible without Bush appointee David Souter, which hilariously led to a petition by other non-SCOTUS dissenters to build a hotel where his property stands.

Gene said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Panachronic said...

"Starting in July, doctors and midwives in the state will be required by law to collect samples of umbilical cord blood from babies born to some women under the age of 16."

Somebody should inform NPR that there are NO women under the age of 16. Only girls.

Rabel said...

Althouse's question is answered.

See line 121 in the PDF. Also check the following paragraphs for collection criteria.

Aridog said...

Reference Rabel's posted PDF...

122 (i) When an abortion is performed on a minor who is less than fourteen (14) years of age at the time of the abortion ...

129 (ii) When a minor who is under sixteen (16) years of age gives birth to an infant, umbilical cord blood shall be ...


Uninformed curiosity asks: Why is there a difference in criteria for age of the minor when it is an abortion [<14] or a live birth [<16]?

Renee said...

I know in Massachusetts, they collect DNA from the abortion fetus in cases of statutory rape. It is oddly written in the newspaper though, when the court reporter writes up the article. I think they use 'tissue from the terminated pregnancy' from my memory.

Larry J said...

kentuckyliz said...
If we tolerate our second and first amendment rights being chipped away at, then why not tolerate an eroded fourth?


The only one of the 10 Bill of Rights amendments that hasn't been eroded or trashed is the 3rd, and that's because there hasn't been a need to force people to quarter troops in their homes.

LarsPorsena said...

I think they should name this the 'Morgan Freeman Law'.

Nicholas Darkwater said...

As for the Supreme Court finding, reversing Maryland: We already take photos and fingerprints of those arrested. I expect that DNA is an updated technology in this respect.

Utah some years ago tied child support for underage mothers to their willingness to identify the father, so that the state could tap him for child support, or prosecute for statutory rape.

Sean Thompson said...

If an underage girl is pregnant in the USA, a crime has been committed. If the boy/man is over 18, he is guilty of having sex with a minor. If both are under age, they are both guilty of having sex with a minor.
I am all for the police being able to collect evidence, yet this would fall under illegal search and seizure. A warrant should be required before DNA can be taken without consent.

Joe said...

"So, the state of Mississippi is going to burn through money for 111 girls, most of whom were probably knocked up by boys about their same age."

Do you really think that 14 year old girls (or younger) are almost always having sex with 14 year old boys?

How many 14 year old boys even have pubic hair?


I said "about"--within three years, if you want to be exact. Based on the behavior of my oldest daughter and her friends at that age, they seemed mostly interested in boys from their age to about two years older and found anyone older than that rather icky.

Regardless of how many 14-year-old boys have pubic, by that age, most can get a girl pregnant.

Ken Green said...

Naturally, the lib-fems want to target men having sex with young women (I guess the whole "cougar" thing isn't working out for women).

But of course, if you call for universal paternity testing with mandatory disclosure to both putative parents, well...sexist! Monster!

Wilson Carroll said...

Warrants aren't required to collect evidence of a crime "in plain view," which a umbilical cord most certainly is at the time a baby is delivered. It's no different from a police officer picking up a whiskey bottle at the scene of a car wreck, and then taking finger prints from it. (Or better yet, examining the bottle for DNA evidence to see who'd been swigging from it).