We are witnessing the gradual dismantling of every constitutional principle that serves as a bulwark against government tyranny, overreach and abuse.
As usual, the latest assault comes from the U.S. Supreme Court.
In a 6-3 ruling in Vega v. Tekoh, the Supreme Court took aim at the Miranda warnings, which require that police inform suspects that they have a right against self-incrimination when in police custody: namely, that they have a right to remain silent, to have an attorney present, and that anything they say and do can and will be used against them in a court of law.
Although the Supreme Court stopped short of overturning its 1966 ruling in Miranda v. Arizona, the conservative majority declared that individuals cannot hold police accountable for violating their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.
By shielding police from lawsuits arising from their failure to Mirandize suspects, the Supreme Court has sent a message to police that they no longer have to respect a suspect’s right to remain silent.
In other words, concludes legal analyst Nick Sibilla, “the Supreme Court has effectively created a new legal immunity for cops accused of infringing on the Fifth Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination.”
Why is this important?
John W. Whitehead Archive
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