Search Incident to Arrest

In Maryland v. King, a 5-4 Court ruled that testing arrestee DNA against unsolved crimes databases is constitutional. In so finding, the majority per Justice Kennedy found the arrestee search was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment. In his dissent, Scalia effectively skewered Justice Kennedy’s assertion that DNA testing of arrestees was merely “identification” and therefore a routine administrative procedure incident to arrest.

This map is based on Justice Scalia’s final footnote in his powerful dissent. The above the line text reads: “I therefore dissent, and hope that today’s incursion upon the Fourth Amendment, like an earlier one will some day be repudiated.” He then drops a footnote that reads: "Compare, New York v. Belton, 453 U.S. 454 (1981) (suspicionless search of a car permitted upon arrest of the driver), with Arizona v. Gant, 556 U.S. 332 (2009) (on second thought, no)." Scalia wishes here that his King will be vindicated like the Belton dissent.

This network thus features cases that develop the "search incident to arrest" concept in Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. Please note that the embedded map shows the two-degree network using a Spaeth projection. Click the map to view other options.