Slightly off-topic for PogoWasRight.org, but was anyone else as embarrassed as I was to see Joe Lieberman explaining how he would introduce legislation that would automatically strip Americans of their citizenship if they “affiliated with” known terrorist organizations?
Not only does Lieberman stand due process on its head, but he seemed to display an amazing ignorance of American law, as Miranda rights are not just for citizens. Anyone who is in our country and who is arrested has Miranda rights. His “solution” would be no solution at all for what was bothering him — that the suspected NYC bomber, a naturalized citizen, had been given his Miranda rights after talking with law enforcement.
What does “affiliated with” mean, anyway? Would Lieberman simultaneously trash First Amendment rights of association as well as due process?
I wonder how many Connecticut voters have buyer’s remorse today.
Rachel Maddow covered it on her show last night:
Note: Orin Kerr adds some interesting legal context to the discussion of whether people have to be Mirandized:
Importantly, though, it would not have violated Shahzad’s constitutional rights to not read him his Miranda rights. A lot of people assume that the police are required to read a suspect his rights when he is arrested. That is, they assume that one of a person’s rights is the right to be read their rights. It often happens that way on Law & Order, but that’s not what the law actually requires. Under Chavez v. Martinez, 538 U.S. 760 (2003), it is lawful for the police to not read a suspect his Miranda rights, interrogate him, and then obtain a statement that would be inadmissible in court. Chavez holds that a person’s constitutional rights are violated only if the prosecution tries to have the statement admitted in court. See id. at 772–73. Indeed, the prosecution is even allowed to admit any physical evidence discovered as a fruit of the statement obtained in violation of Miranda — only the actual statement is excluded. See United States v. Patane, 542 U.S. 630 (2004). So while it may sound weird, it turns out that obtaining a statement outside Miranda but not admitting it in court is lawful.