It takes more than beauty and grace to be the winner of the Miss USA pageant. Last night, Erin Brady wowed the judges with her explanation of the Supreme Court’s recent DNA decision in the last round of the competition.
Of course, if Justice Antonin Scalia or any number of civil libertarians had been on the judge’s panel, runner-up Mary Margaret McCord of Alabama or another contestant could possibly wearing the tiara on Monday.
Instead, Brady had get the approval of comedian Mo Rocca, designer Betsey Johnson, and cast members of “Real Housewives” and “Duck Dynasty.”
Brady and five other contestants were in the final round of the televised competition from Las Vegas.
Here is the winning question posed by the judges: “Miss Connecticut, the Supreme Court ruled that criminal suspects can be subjected to a police DNA test after arrest. Do you agree or disagree with this and why or why not?”
Brady agreed with the court’s majority decision two weeks ago and made an important distinction.
“I would agree with this,” Brady said. “I think if somebody is being prosecuted and has committed a crime that’s that severe, they should have a DNA test. I think there are so many crimes going on in this world, that if that is one step closer to figuring out who has done it, I think we should absolutely do so.”
The court in its decision in Maryland v. King said that DNA samples could be taken for people arrested under probable cause in serious crimes.
The “Last Question” is considered to be the toughest test in any high-profile pageant and especially at Donald Trump’s Miss USA .
Critics noticed that Brady’s quick answer seemed like a winner.
“She sounded like she knew what she was talking about the most,” said the official blogger at the TV gossip site Zap2It.
Another site, Hollywood Gossip, agreed. “Brady agreed with the Supreme Court of the U.S. on the complex issue, supporting testing and sounding like she knew what she was talking about,” the site said.
It turns out that not only does Brady have a Finance degree from Central Connecticut State University—her minor was criminal justice.
McCord’s question was about the recent revelations of government surveillance of phone calls and Internet transmissions.
"I would rather someone track my phone messages and feel safe wherever I go than feel like they're encroaching on my privacy,” said McCord. That also won’t thrill civil libertarians, who could look to Megan Pinckney as an alternative to Brady.
Pinckney, as Miss South Carolina, was asked about former CIA analyst Edward Snowden and others who leak classified documents.
"I don't believe that they should be charged with treason...If we feel the need to have to show those documents, then I feel like we should have to show them,” said Pinckney.
One person who struggled with the Last Question was Miss Utah, Marissa Powell, who was asked about income inequality.
“We need to see how to … create education better. So that we can solve this problem,” said Powell, who still came in third.
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