The Supreme Genome? Maryland v. King, Myriad Genetics and the Meanings of DNA
Last term, two of the Supreme Court’s most important decisions both centered around the permissible, legal uses of human DNA. These two cases, decided just ten days apart in the
Last term, two of the Supreme Court’s most important decisions both centered around the permissible, legal uses of human DNA. These two cases, decided just ten days apart in the last weeks of the session, represent the first two cases ever decided by the Supreme Court that directly assess the legal use and regulation of information contained within the human genome.
One of those cases, Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad, involved the question of whether DNA sequences – specifically, the BRCA 1 & 2 genes, indicating a susceptibility to breast and ovarian cancer, could receive patent protection. The other, Maryland v. King, examined the constitutionality of collecting and storing DNA samples from people arrested – but not yet convicted of felonies.
From one perspective, these two cases involve radically different questions and areas of law: intellectual property and the proper scope of patents, on the one hand, and the constitutionality of certain law-enforcement investigative techniques on the other. But both cases invite critical questions and perplexing ruminations about the relationship between law and the building blocks of our genetic profiles. They both struggle, implicitly or explicitly, over the relationship between DNA and broader aspects of our human identity. And both cases necessarily wrestle with how to assimilate new biotechnological developments to established legal understandings, whether to the scope of patentable subject matter or to criminal identification.
This symposium therefore brings together experts in patent law, genetic technologies, criminal procedure, evidence, and privacy law, to discuss each of these landmark cases, both separately and in dialogue. Through presentations and roundtable discussion, we will investigate and unpack the legal meanings of DNA in both criminal law and intellectual property, and explore likely future directions for the complex nexus of science, biotechnology, law and society.
2:00-2:15 Welcome (Dean Rachel F. Moran and Dr. Vilain)
2:15-3:25 Session 1 Maryland v. King (moderator Richard Leo, speakers: Elizabeth Joh, UC Davis; Enid Camps CA Deputy DA; Jennifer Mnookin UCLA law)
3:30-4:40 Session 2 Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics: (moderator Debra Greenfield, speakers: Lori B. Andrews, Chicago Kent School of Law; Lee Petherbridge, Loyola Law School; Mildred Cho, Stanford School of Medicine)
4:45-5:30 Roundtable and wrap-up: moderator Debra Greenfield
5:30-6:15 Reception (in the law school immediately adjacent to venue)
this workshop is free and open to the public
Panel on King:
Richard LEO (UC SF, visiting UCLA law)
Enid CAMPS, Deputy Attorney General, CA Department of Justice
Elizabeth JOH (UC Davis, School of Law)
Jennifer MNOOKIN (UC Los Angeles)
Panel on Myriad:
Debra GREENFIELD (Institute for Society and Genetics, UC Los Angeles)
Lori B. ANDREWS (Chicago-Kent School of Law/Illinois Institute of Technology)
Lee Petherbridge, (Loyola Law School)
Dr. Mildred CHO (Stanford)
Brought to you by the UCLA Institute for Society and Genetics. Co-sponsored by the UCLA Disability Program minor, the UCLA Department of Human Genetics, and the UCLA Center for Behavior, Evolution and Culture.
(Friday) 2:00 pm - 5:30 pm
UCLA School of Law, Room 1457