Leahy: Miranda Reform Can’t Stray from Previous SCOTUS Decisions

By Evan Harris

May 16, 2010 9:09am

In an exclusive interview, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-VT, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that any reform of the Miranda warning – which informs criminal suspects of their Constitutional rights – to better deal with terrorism suspects must fall within the bounds of Supreme Court precedent.


“It was the Supreme Court that set down the rules of Miranda,” Leahy told host Jake Tapper. “Whatever changes might be made, has to made within the confines of what the United States Supreme Court has already said.”


Leahy said that “you have to have maximum flexibility within the rules, but the idea that you’re going to be able to pass a statute to change the Constitutional ruling of the Supreme Court, you can’t do that.”


Last Sunday, on “This Week,” Attorney General Eric Holder said that “If we are going to have a system that is capable of dealing in a public safety context with this new threat, I think we have to give serious consideration to at least modifying that public safety exception,” of the Miranda warning.


“And that’s one of the things that I think we’re going to be reaching out to Congress to do,” Holder told Tapper, “to come up with a proposal that is both constitutional, but that is also relevant to our time and the threat that we now face.”


WATCH VIDEO HERE:


 

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