Society: Supreme Court Decisions on Genes, AIDS Funding and the Right to Remain Silent

While I wait on pins and needles for the big two gay marriage decisions, I’m keeping up with Supreme Court decisions like never before.

The Supreme Court decided on 3 important cases in the past week.
I guess one could argue that all cases the Supreme Court decides are important, but anyways.

Those 3 cases are:

  1. Genes
  2. AIDS Funding
  3. The Right to Remain Silent

1. Genes

The decision: nobody can patent human genes because they are products of nature
My opinion: I do not believe that genes should be able to be patented. I was born with my DNA, it’s mine. I think it’s really messed up that corporations think they can patent parts of the bodies of human beings.
Read up and decide for yourself: on NPR Supreme Court: Human Genes May Not Be Patented

2. AIDS Funding

The decision: the government cannot force private health organizations to denounce prostitution to get money to fight HIV/AIDS overseas
My opinion: I’m glad they decided this. I think that requiring organizations to denounce prostitution is counter productive. I think that if orgs were required to denounce prostitution that it would tell the people they treat (who are prostitutes) that they are less than and unwelcome. Which goes against what those organizations are trying to do, which is not to eradicate prostitution but to eradicate AIDS no matter what the source. Because I don’t think you get anywhere by telling people you don’t accept them, a safe space needs to be created to do this important work. And furthermore I don’t agree with compelled-speech.
Read up and decide for yourself: on NPR Supreme Court: Provision In AIDS Law Violates Free Speech

3. The Right to Remain Silent

The decision:
My opinion: I found the whole thing really disturbing. I would like to find a more thorough article on this.
Read up and decide for yourself: on Slate.com: You Don’t Have the Right to Remain Silent

A good quote from the article:

“The court’s new ruling puts the “defendant in an impossible predicament. He must either answer the question or remain silent,” Justice Stephen Breyer said in dissent (joined by the other three liberal-moderates). “If he answers the question, he may well reveal, for example, prejudicial facts, disreputable associates, or suspicious circumstances—even if he is innocent.” But if he doesn’t answer, at trial, police and prosecutors can now take advantage of his silence, or perhaps even of just pausing or fidgeting.”

 

NOTE:
My favorite reporter on all things Supreme Court is Nina Totenberg on NPR.
Check out: Nina Totenberg Answers Your Supreme Court Questions.

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