Baltimore MD: The Baltimore City Council had considered a resolution to ban the use of plastic supermarket bags. Activists had proposed substitutes, such as paper bags, reusing existing bags or a city tax of five cents per plastic bag.
Bowing to the protests of ordinary citizens that the problem was not the plastic bags, but the few slobs who let their bags hang out and get blown in the breeze, another approach was needed.
The council brought the matter to a head and voted unanimously in favor of a resolution to have every resident in Baltimore City submit a DNA sample. Thus, when a loose bag is found, any DNA evidence can be correlated with the DNA Data Base. If the culprit is a city resident a fine of not less than $5000 will be imposed. (Rumors have been circulating in the Maryland State Capital at Annapolis about implementing this approach to raise state revenue, once the Obama Stimulus Package money runs out.)
A court challenge to this new Baltimore City Council resolution will most likely reach the Supreme Court by mid-2010. The case will be based on the US Constitution's 8th Amendment prohibition against imposing excessive fines.