Elena Kagan Votes With Alito and Thomas To Undermine Miranda

When Elena Kagan was nominated, there were very few of us voicing strenuous objection, one of the primary reasons I did was her complete lack of experience in the adversarial system, especially with her total lack of knowledge and interest in criminal process issues, which would be critical in the face of the Obama DOJ’s determination to further gut Miranda.

The feared Kagan chickens have come home to roost. The Supreme Court just announced its decision in Howes v. Fields, and the decision is a significant further erosion of the critical Constitutional protections embodied in Miranda. The ruling specifically holds that police are not automatically required to tell prisoners of their legal right to remain silent and have an attorney present when being questioned in prison about another crime.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, joined by Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen Breyer dissented. Noting that Fields was only incarcerated for disorderly conduct in the first place, Ginsburg stated:

For the reasons stated, I would hold that the “incommunicado interrogation [of Fields] in a police-dominated atmosphere,” id., at 445, without informing him of his rights, dishonored the Fifth Amendment privilege Miranda was designed to safeguard.

Notice who did NOT side with her fellow “liberal bloc” Justices to honor and protect Miranda? Elena Kagan. No, Kagan instead sided completely with Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and the rest of the conservative bloc.

No democratic appointee to Supreme Court should ever vote to further erode Miranda, and this case did exactly that in a fundamental way. But Barack Obama gave us the authoritarian Elena Kagan who, predictably, did just that. As a prediction: you will be seeing a lot more of Elena Kagan voting with Alito, Scalia and Thomas on crucial law and order/criminal process, not to mention evidentiary, issues. Get used to it.

Oh, and as a reminder, Obama may soon enough have the opportunity to further shove the ideological spectrum of the Supreme Court substantially to the right, just as he did when he replaced John Paul Stevens with Kagan. If Obama replaces the liberal stalwart Ruth Bader Ginsburg with another mushy authoritarian and/or corporatist centrist, like he did in replacing Stevens, liberals will regret it for decades.

Judicial policy matters.

[updated slightly to reflect authoritarian as a descriptor for Kagan, which, as EW points out, is more germane to this discussion on Howes]

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+0Email to someone

32 Responses to Elena Kagan Votes With Alito and Thomas To Undermine Miranda

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
  • 30
  • 31
  • 32
Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @barryeisler @jayrosen_nyu Here is the full glory of Fineman's timeline before the deletion: http://t.co/jfDhYHbwaE
18mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @ClaraJeffery nearly 30 years in and around criminal law seems to point clearly to the former.
49mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz .@JesselynRadack I don't see why. Evidence is that @paulabroadwell's own neurotic obsession with+invasion of Jill Kelley caused own downfall
53mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Paper, plastic or Ducey bag? http://t.co/tEWs7SPl2v Uh so theres an IndieGoGo to help make reusable Doug Douchebags https://t.co/2SnrMC0HAI
56mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @yeselson @sbagen @LemieuxLGM Either way, what an ugly deal. Frankly, Smith is unwatchable even were it not for his roaring misogyny.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @michaelbkiefer @dbaich @azcentral Excellent. I knew Dale was deeply involved, but didn't know if going. Have fun and good luck.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @dbaich @michaelbkiefer @azcentral Either of you guys going to O/A's?
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @banditelli @JoshuaHol The Smoke Vault "looks" awesome though!
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @radleybalko: Police union buys billboard to support cop with 200 pages of citizen complaints, and who shot 2 people in 10 days. http://…
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @normative: Ironically, untrue: Buzzfeed skipped WHDC & was covering actual news from Baltimore. https://t.co/UOqcWhZGBw
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @KenRoth: If Obama apologized each day for a civilian killed by a drone, it would take him three years. http://t.co/vToVP9ooTD http://t.…
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @jayrosen_nyu Well, I guess that is true. Fair enough.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
February 2012
S M T W T F S
« Jan   Mar »
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
26272829