Look, it's the Supreme Court!In today’s Judicial Branch news, the American Supreme Court has ruled that “suspects must explicitly tell police they want to be silent to invoke Miranda protections during criminal interrogations.” Ha ha, that doesn’t sound… cool… come on, WHAT? HUH? Man, if you’re a conservative (hi all three of you reading this!), the Roberts appointment kind of makes up for almost every other shitty thing Bush did to obliterate your party’s majorities and ruin Earth forever. But what did the angry Mexican judge-lady have to say about this ruling?

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the court’s newest member, wrote a strongly worded dissent for the court’s liberals, saying the majority’s decision “turns Miranda upside down.”

“Criminal suspects must now unambiguously invoke their right to remain silent – which counterintuitively, requires them to speak,” she said. “At the same time, suspects will be legally presumed to have waived their rights even if they have given no clear expression of their intent to do so. Those results, in my view, find no basis in Miranda or our subsequent cases and are inconsistent with the fair-trial principles on which those precedents are grounded.”

WHOA WHOA WHOA, let’s turn down the temperature here, ma’am. WHAT A FURIOUS TEMPER! It’s cool, everyone will be fine, with the police.

[AP/Washington Post]

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  1. Can they also make it so, in order to get a fair trial, you first have be innocent? Why should people who are clearly guilty get the same rights that innocent people have?

  2. What’s Sotomayor getting so worked up about? Sure, police abuse of suspects to get forced confessions may have been a problem back when Miranda was decided, but all of this nation’s cops are totally honest and fair now. And hey, your average poor person detained by the police totally knows all of their Constitutional rights intuitively, and is able to think calmly and rationally about their response while the cops are beating on; uh, that is calmly asking them questions.

  3. Next, the supreme court will rule that suspects have consented to a search of their premises unless they explicitly protest, and anything up until that point will be valid. Whee! Good on Sotomayor for pointing out the INCREDIBLY BASIC LOGICAL FLAW in the whole “need to speak to declare lack of need to speak” thing, though.

  4. Oh hey, Miranda v. Arizona turns 50 years old in just over a year (June 13, 1966). Will the conservatives celebrating by finally gutting it? Stay tuned!

  5. What. The. Fuck.

    I really have no snark on this one, only blind hatred for John G. Roberts. And Scalia and his sockpuppet. Also.

  6. Gee Mr. Newell, before you leave can we have the names and addresses of those three conservative Wonkette readers? I’m thinking “mark of the squealer”

    Also, am I the only one who wants to replace the tiny picture of Glenn Beck in the margin with a giant Campbell Brown?

  7. cop: “so, do you want a lawyer?”
    arrestee: “YES!”
    cop: “haha, sucker, you are answering questions so clearly willing to be interrogated further.”

    So, no problem, we just need to legislate around these jokers. The wording for the Miranda rights needs a little tweak “You have the right to remain silent, if you wish to indicate your silence blink twice.” Course, since now everything is silently filibustered, even the senates silence screws everything up.

  8. “You are under arrest. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be used against you. Also, anything you don’t say will be considered to be consent unless you say you’re going to remain silent. Although saying you’re going to remain silent requires you to speak, which means you’re being contrary and uncooperative. Which can be used against you. You have the right to be beaten while lying on the pavement. Any refusal to exercise this right must be announced to the police before you’re beaten. It’s also taken as waiving your right to remain silent. You have the right to cough up blood…”

  9. Sorry, I don’t get it. I thought the cops were supposed to read you your rights, and then you were supposed to shut the fuck up. Period.

    What does Sotomayor want? After the cops read you your rights, are you supposed to be able to say whatever you want and not have it used against you? But the cops just told you that anything you say can be used against you. What am I missing here?

  10. I really don’t understand Conservative’s aversion to Miranda as all it involves is the police to mutter something real fast for like 30 seconds or so. It’s not like they hand the suspect Amnesty International pamphlets or copies of “Getting Off on Technicalities For Dummies” books. Will the Supreme Court soon rule that suspects can be beaten up in jail if they don’t specifically ask to not be beaten up in jail?

  11. [re=588520]Mad Brahms[/re]: Indeed, the Chief Justice “I illegally adopted Irish kids through a sham Guatamalan intermediary” Roberts was able to pass the bar exam, and so should we all. You only get the benefit of your Miranda “rights” if you can correctly identify which amendment this right arises under, and cite “Mirande v. Arizona” specifically, in order to identify exactly which rights you wish to invoke. Likewise, no attorney for you, unless you know which amendment to the Constitution established the right to be represented by an attorney, and no appointed attorney unless you can correctly cite Gideon in proper Bluebook form.

    The warrant requirement, nothing to worry about there, there is no warrant requirement in the US anymore, there is only an enormous, universally applicable exception to the hypothetical warrant requirement, and in emergencies, there is always the fact that you and I and everyone else who has ever been or ever will be arrrested, will, as we see the cop proceeding in our direction, as the cop will testify, we will place our hand into our pocket and extract a number of small glassine packets and attempt to surreptitiously drop them to the ground, which, as a result of the officer’s experience and expertise, will indicate to the officer that we are attempting to dispose of illicit narcotics.

  12. [re=588535]SayItWithWookies[/re]: Talking? That’s a paddlin’. Silent? That’s a paddlin’. Peeing on an officer? That’s a paddlin’.

  13. You liberals are missing the point, as usual. If you haven’t done anything wrong, that you need to be ashamed of, then why wouldn’t you just want to, you know, “open up?”

  14. Pursuant to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals (ie, the “real” Supreme Court”) by walkking the streets in DC you have implied your consent to having your persons and property searched if you have the audacity to go near the Casa Blanca, Conggrunts, or the said Supper Court. You imply your consent to TSA booty pictures and booty tickling if you go near an airport. You imply your consent, so WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU COMMIES? If you hate America so much, go back to the Turks and Caicos.


  15. [re=588538]Hooray For Anything[/re]: It’s the principle of the thing; anything that lessens the power of cops to arbitrarily arrest dark-skinned suspects and have them convicted for whatever the police can come up with is Anti-American.

  16. Yeah, whatever.
    Meanwhile, the big news is that Sarah just twatted that she’s gonna post something on her MyFacebook!

    “Any wonder why public can’t trust mainstream media?I’ll facebook our latest incident w/NBC unbalanced/sensational “reporting”;Don’t trust’em”

  17. What will Roberts do when a corporation is read IT’s miranda rights and it just sits there and doesn’t say anything? Hmmmm? HMMMMM?

  18. I remember Gideon V. Wainwright very well. I read his book, Gideon Strumpet. I heard a strumpet is a woman of weak moral fiber who needs more Kellog’s Moral Fiber-Os in her diet, kinda like Sarah Plain, which is what this is all about. What was that line “Wicked Strumpet, wicked strumpet.” Like a Meat Puppet, but for women. Well, there wasn’t any Strumpets in Gideons book, which sure coulda been trumpeted on the cover, if you ask me.

  19. [re=588537]Aurelio[/re]: I don’t get it either, that is, I don’t think this is a big deal. From what I read, the cops must still mirandize you, it is only that after this you must say “ok, I’m not talking.”

    If anything, it seems like it will give the person arrested more power, because if they say “I’m not talking” and then the cops still interrogate him/her, and he/she slips and says something later, they can go back and say the cops did something illegal (by questioning them after they said “I’m not talking.”), no?

    Ok, I’m not talking.

  20. This all reminds me of the hilarious ridiculousness from “Alice In Wonderland” when the King says the unsigned note must have been written by the guilty Knave, or else he would have signed it like an honest man; and that because it isn’t his handwriting, he must have been imitating another style to throw off the investigation. Or Something. This could lead to some shit just as crazy.

  21. [re=588557]Extemporanus[/re]: I thought it was odd when Roberts prefaced his reading of the decision by saying,

    “This is a public service announcement
    With guitar!”

  22. [re=588555]RoscoePColtraine[/re]: Look, I’m getting awfully tired of your gay innuendo around here. And I think I speak for all of us when… I… er…

    Say, that’s a nice hat.

  23. Don’t worry, wonkette. If 20 years of watching Law & Order has taught me anything, it’s that you’re immediately in an adversarial position with the cops if you’re under arrest. You shut up after you say “I want a lawyer.” The cops have no goal beyond closing cases, and they’re allowed to use “reasonable deception” to coax information out of you, typically to your detriment. This means truth, lies, or any mixture of both.

  24. So much for stare decisis. Next the Roberts Court will require defendants to affirm their Miranda rights by reciting the Miranda rights statement from memory, without notes. If they miss a word, they have failed to demonstrate that they have any rights whatsoever. Also.

  25. Good thing Roberts wasn’t one of them thar “activists” and just applies good common sense solutions like the four fathers wanted.

  26. You have the right to wear fruit on your head. If you give up the right to wear fruit on your head it will be noted down as evidence. You have the right to samba in high platform shoes… ant more miranda rights I’m missing?

  27. To clarify, the police will still be required to read you your Miranda rights. You just have to tell them “I’m choosing to remain silent” so they’ll stop interrogating you. It’s really not that radical of a decision. Even if you don’t tell them you’re invoking your right to remain silent, you just have to remain silent and not confess like the moron in this case. Besides, there’s only one word you should say when you’re arrested, “Lawyer.” I think maybe the police should have to ask detainees if they’d like to invoke the rights to remain silent and/or obtain a lawyer, though.

  28. [re=588549]CommitteeOfTheHole[/re]: Eh, I don’t know about that. The thing to remember here is that the case Miranda v. (seriously, where else?) Arizona was basically a case where someone signed a written confession on a paper that also said “BY SIGNING THIS, I AM SAYING THAT I UNDERSTAND MY RIGHTS, AND AM CONFESSING VOLUNTARILY, 4 TOTES”, and hey, it’s not like he asked for a lawyer, so whatever, and the court said that wasn’t good enough, you actually had to tell someone what their rights were and they had to explicitly wiave them before you could interrogate.

    Basically, if this had been the precedent in 1966, Miranda probably would have been decided the other direction, and I’m not really sure how this doesn’t explicitly set the stage for outright reversal of Miranda, if it doesn’t itself amount to a reversal.

  29. “Ernesto Arturo Miranda…
    You now have the right to remain silent,
    but only if you forfiet your right to
    silence by stating you would like to break
    your silence in order to invoke your right
    to remain silent. Anything you say can and
    will be used against you in a court of law.
    You have the right to an attorney. If you
    cannot afford an attorney, one will be
    appointed to you. Do you understand these
    rights as they have been read to you?”


    “Oh buddy-you’re fucked now!”

  30. By the end of the 2016 term, the “Miranda Right” will have become a right of the cops to be free from charges brutality and procedural violation, provided they give the warning, which they may do via mental telepathy. We’ll think of these as the good old days.

  31. [re=588516]ph7[/re]: And, you have to say, “Ollie, Ollie, in free,” and “abracadabra,” and “please sir, may I have another.”

  32. [re=588636]anonymousryan[/re]: If it’s all so simply tautological, then why did there have to be a Supreme Court decision about it? Hmm? What was the case that gave rise to it? It seems obvious that there was some concern there that led to the need for an articulation of a right – rather than an assumption of it.

  33. i shall tell the arresting officers that i am explicitly invoking my constitutional right to be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures, and that i find their detention of me unreasonable on its face. i shall then turn and amble off nonchalantly. QED

    the arresting officers shall then pursue me, apprehend me, throw me to the ground, taze me, kick me in the ribs a few times, perform an anal cavity search (you can never be too careful), truss me up in cuffs, and slam me into the back of the squad car. Q Even Bigger D

  34. She’s right, of course.

    If you make a statement saying that you wish to remain silent, then you are entering evidence. That’s kind of the point, Roberts, you massive dick. I have a feeling, though, that he thinks that the Hollywood 10 trials were fine, as well, and making people answer that they are or are not members of legal political parties is completely fair.

    Next up: let’s get at the 5th. Why should you have the right to not incriminate yourself? If you’re guilty, you don’t have any rights!

  35. In his defense, Justice Thomas simply thought he was voting to view his favorite adult film “Turnimg Miranda Upside Down” trampling on the rights of citizens is simply a bonus!

  36. [re=588644]DangerousLiberal[/re]: This is only June 1. There are a shitload more decisions to weather yet this year. I can’t wait for the US v. SCOTUS: It’s On decision.

  37. [re=588644]DangerousLiberal[/re]: Now, don’t worry, the modern Supreme Court is still dedicated to protecting all of our Constitutional rights; they’re just getting rid of all the methods by which those rights are enforced.

    And hey, if you’re convicted after the police torture you into signing a false confession, you can still sue them for civil damages!

    For now.

  38. [re=588719]mumblyjoe[/re]: they better hope they never need anything from anyone. see how sovereign they’ll be the first time they dial 911.

  39. Thompkins was arrested for murder in 2001 and questioned by police for three hours. At the beginning, he was read his Miranda rights and said he understood.

    The officers in the room said Thompkins said little during the interrogation, occasionally answering “yes,” “no,” “I don’t know,” nodding his head and making eye contact as his responses. But when one of the officers asked him if he prayed for forgiveness for “shooting that boy down,” Thompkins said, “Yes.”

    He was convicted, but on appeal he wanted that statement thrown out because he said he had invoked his Miranda rights by being uncommunicative with the interrogating officers.


  40. If the suspect floats, that means she’s made of wood and is therefore a witch. On the other hand, if she sinks and drowns, she was obviously innocent.

    Basically the problem with Miranda v. Arizona and the reason why it must now be destroyed is that Miranda looked Mexican. So does Sotomayor. Just sayin’

  41. Okay if I am wrong about this, one of you trial lawyers on here (since most liberals are supposed to be trial lawyers or union members, I’m both but that’s because I graduated from a shitty law school), but aren’t Miranda Rights already supposed to be in effect when any suspect is arrested and the police only read you your rights to make sure you’re aware of rights you already have? I could be wrong as bush and the wingnut SCOTUS could have redefined the law to where Miranda rights don’t exist until an officer reads them to you and with this verdict then apparently your entire constitutional rights outlined in Miranda are now null and void unless you fucking know about them already and can read them back…in anagrams while touching your nose and rubbing your belly? Wow, I just suddenly understood the conservative movement…and not in a way they’re happy to be understood.

    Seriously though, I’m pretty sure if you already have Miranda Rights before the cop reads them to you that this is just another asshole attempt by the right to let cops trick people; this kind of law is the quintessential “fuck you” to people without giant firms on retainer. Also, I’m pretty sure the teabaggers want to pass some law saying we’re all subject to waterboarding unless we’re a teatard or a republitard and can prove we listen to Rush, Hannity and Beck and watch Faux nuuuuze.

  42. [re=588788]One Flew Over the Wingnut[/re]: i’m not a lawyer and i don’t look like one, but i’m leery of the police practice of detaining people and questioning them before actually placing them under arrest. you would figure that if a cop stops you, you have been in some sense arrested, but i’m given to understand that you’re not actually arrested until the cop says, “you’re under arrest,” or words to that effect, and the police have no obligation to “mirandize” you (yes, it’s a verb of art, artless though it may be) until you have been formally arrested. any clarifications from legal wonketteers are cordially invited.

  43. I’ve been to Miranda, it’s a beautiful country! The Pampas, the Pyramids, the Sursiks! Unfortunately they have a serious crime problem in this semi-barbaric land.

  44. in the midst of writing a report to HUD and so snark is in low-supply, but…

    Shocking. Who could have guessed that Bush’s torture-sympathizers would think of Miranda a part of those superfluous “proliferation of rights” Justice Thomas railed against. The fact that someone “continued to talk with the officer, albeit sporadically” clearly means that they “knowingly and voluntarily” waive their rights enumerated in the 5th and 14th amendments of the Constitution.

    But hey!!! They just have to say the magic words “I no longer wish to speak to you, law enforcement personnel, about the details of THIS specific investigation” to invoke their Constitutional rights. !! Nothing’s really changed!! Yea, except that instead of the law presuming that no citizen would ever waive such a right and leaving the burden of proof to the state, the court instead will assume that if police EVENTUALLY get an inculpatory statements, that good citizen waived his or her right not to self-incriminate.

    The only thing that hasn’t changed is the racist-ass judicial system that Miranda was litigated to remedy.

  45. [re=588902]slappypaddy[/re]: I’m not a lawyer, nor a cop, but I’ve been fucked by both, and not in a good way, and what I can tell you from experience is that cops lie. My ex was looking for a better position during a bitter divorce, so he filed a complaint against me. Cop calls me up and says, “You have to come down to the station and file a response.” Not being retarded, I immediately think about self-incrimination and ask the cop, “Have to?” “You have to,” cop says. I wasn’t going to be arrested, I was just being led into a trap to incriminate myself without counsel.

    So I call a lawyer, who says cop is full of shit, they can’t make you incriminate yourself. Don’t go down there, lawyer says. I can haz jd now?

    While that doesn’t answer your question about being detained, it does tell me that we were already fucked; what we are now, I don’t know. What is beyond fucked?

  46. [re=588953]Katydid[/re]: okay, so let me disclaim that Regent University Law School is part of the godawful wingnutty religious college that Pat Robertson founded, but, on the other hand, they have one of the most awesome law school lectures I’ve ever seen on youtube, about don’t talk to the fuzz, yo. Terrible law school, though. Just terrible.

    It’s literally one of the only times Regent University is likely to have advice we could all live by.

  47. [re=588971]mumblyjoe[/re]: thank you very much for that link. i only had time for the first eight minutes of it, but i do intend to return to it at my earliest convenience. i’ve worked for twenty years in legal support, several years of that in hard-core criminal defense and many more years in white-collar criminal defense, and i gotta say, this youtube posting looks like a must-see. i recommend all wonketties check it out.

  48. [re=588788]One Flew Over the Wingnut[/re]: Miranda *warnings* are just to advise you of rights you have every minute of every day. You always have a 5th Amendment right to remain silent and refrain from self-incrimination. You always have a 6th Amendment right to counsel. You are under arrest when you are not free to go, regardless of whether the cops say magic words or not.

    If you say, “Am I free to go?” and they don’t say “No” or actually stop you from hitting that door, GO as fast as your little legs will carry you, away from any place where that was even in question. In this instance, the Policeman Is Not Your Friend, even if you went to high school together. Even if he used to date your sister. Even if you still owe him for that beer. His goal is to clear cases by arrest and you can get in more trouble in ten minutes than you can get out of in ten years.

  49. [re=588518]JMP[/re]: “What’s Sotomayor getting so worked up about?” She’s Mexican. Those people go all excited about just any ole anything. Bull fights, late welfare checks, pistoles poppimg in the cantina, immigration laws, etc. It’s in the blood.

  50. [re=588950]problemwithcaring[/re]: Using “Justice” and “Thomas” together is a contradiction in terms, like “Tom Cruise, credible actor”.

    On a more contemplative note, under the Court’s current decision what happens if the prisoner is:
    1. A mime? And no one in the precinct understands French?
    2. Gaged and bound?
    3. Ozzy Osborne?
    4. Hounduran and says, “No wan’ speek”. But none of the cops know Hispnic.
    %. Dead.

    Questions, questions.

  51. [re=589013]slappypaddy[/re]: good morning, wonketteers, i watched “don’t talk to cops, part 1” and “don’t talk to cops, part 2” with my breakfast (fresh sparrow — remember, i’m a cat in a cardboard box), and while i don’t want to get in dutch with the good editors here, i would like to heartily recommend those two youtube videos.

  52. [re=588971]mumblyjoe[/re]: Thanks for the link, it is very valuable. I want to send it to everyone I care about. I also love how the guy brings up The Innocence Project, decidedly not a conservative org.

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