Washington (CNN) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday allowed a controversial state DNA testing law to remain in effect until the justices have time to consider the broader constitutional questions. Maryland's DNA Collection Act permits police to collect genetic material from those who have been arrested, but not yet convicted. Chief Justice John Roberts issued the three-page in-chambers opinion, putting a state court's ruling favoring a criminal defendant on hold. "Collecting DNA from individuals arrested for violent felonies provides a valuable tool for investigating unsolved crimes and thereby helping to remove violent offenders from the general population," Roberts wrote. "Crimes for which DNA evidence is implicated tend to be serious, and serious crimes cause serious injuries. That Maryland may not employ a duly enacted statute to help prevent these injuries constitutes irreparable harm."