The case was an important one for the court to decide, as several lower court decisions had come to varying conclusions on the constitutionality of taking DNA samples before conviction. The case scrambled the traditional liberal-conservative lines on the Supreme Court. The majority decision was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy (often a swing vote) and joined by conservative justices John Roberts, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito and liberal Justice Stephen Breyer. Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative, wrote the dissent, which was joined by justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, all liberals. It also overrode the traditional political differences between the states, as 49 of them, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., joined Maryland with amicus briefs.