Meredith College held a debate to observe Constitution Day on September 18, 2017.
Moderated by Assistant Professor of Political Science Whitney Ross Manzo, the debate covered questions of whether law enforcement should collect DNA samples of everyone who is arrested and whether there should be a national database containing the DNA of all citizens. The debate featured Professor of Political Science David McLennan and Professor of Sociology Lori Brown.
McLennan represented the side of privacy, arguing that the Constitution and Supreme Court decisions provide protection against unreasonable search and seizure; therefore a warrant should be used to collect DNA. Brown represented law enforcement’s point of view. She suggested there should be a national database of DNA, arguing that DNA is an identifier that is no different than having a person’s birth certificate on record.
At the end students in the audience discussed what they had heard.
Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787.
The Constitution Day debate was held as part of Meredith’s History, Political Science, and International Studies Week, which continues through September 22.