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Archive of entries posted on May 2010

Was OCE’s Referral to the Justice Department Ultra Vires?

On May 27, 2010, the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) announced that its Board had voted unanimously to refer to the Justice Department “certain evidence collected in the course of its investigation concerning appropriations earmarks and the now defunct PMA lobbying firm.”   The announcement contends the referral to the Justice Department was authorized “pursuant to [...]

Northern Exposure

            The Canadians seem to be having their own version of the Karl Rove/Harriet Miers/Josh Bolten controversy that arose in during the Bush administration (when these White House officials asserted immunity from having to appear before congressional committees).  The Canadian government has declared only cabinet ministers, not their political staffs, can be called as witnesses [...]

A Final Word on Congress and Miranda

           From my last three posts on Miranda (see here, here and here), one can see the argument that would be made by opponents of a “public safety” exception statute.  They will say that Miranda’s requirements are “constitutional” in nature; ergo any exceptions are similarly of constitutional dimension.  Since it is the Court, not Congress, [...]

The Dickerson Decision

           The majority opinion in Dickerson v. United States, 530 U.S. 428 (2000), was written by Chief Justice Rehnquist (the author of the Quarles decision).  The opinion states its hold succinctly at the outset: “We hold that Miranda, being a constitutional decision of this Court, may not be in effect overruled by an Act of [...]

Miranda and the Justice Department’s Duty to Defend Federal Statutes

           In the late 1990s a bank robbery suspect named Charles Dickerson made an incriminating statement while in FBI custody.  Claiming that he had not received Miranda warnings, Dickerson moved to suppress the statement at his trial.  The Fourth Circuit, while finding that no warnings were given, held that the statement was nonetheless admissible under [...]

Congress, Miranda and the “Public Safety” Exception

Last week Attorney General Holder suggested that the administration may seek legislative changes to facilitate the questioning of terrorism suspects within the criminal justice system.  One potential change would be to expand the “public safety” exception to Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), so as to allow law enforcement officials to hold and interrogate [...]