Analyze the following information, comments, and questions:
In U.S. v. Dickerson (2000), the U.S. Supreme Court held that Miranda was required by the Constitution and was not a court-made rule that could be overruled by Congress. The Fourth Circuit held otherwise. Which institution—the U.S. Supreme Court or the U.S. Congress—can most safely be entrusted with protecting citizens against abuses of government power? Since Miranda has been applied against the states for almost forty years since its inception, how can it be credibly be argued that it is just a rule for federal courts? This was a significant victory for the rights of suspects, but also a victory of the U.S. Supreme Court over Congress. Given the court's role in deciding the contested 2000 U.S. presidential election and its ability to rule authoritatively on some of society's most contentious issues, (e.g., abortion, school desegregation, affirmative action), is the U.S. Supreme Court now the most powerful branch of government? If so, is this a good thing?
Does the decision made by the Supreme Court in Dickerson have implications for the federal exclusionary rule? If Miranda is a command of the Constitution and cannot be overruled by Congress isn't the exclusionary rule a rule of the Constitution? The current U.S. Supreme Court position is that the exclusionary rule is a court-made rule and not a command of the Constitution. Can that logic survive Dickerson? Why or why not?
In U.S. v. Dickerson (2000), the U.S. Supreme Court held that Miranda was required by the Constitution and was not a court-made rule that could be overruled by Congress. The Fourth Circuit held otherwise. Which institution—the U.S. Supreme Court or the U.S. Congress—can most safely be entrusted with protecting citizens against abuses of government power?
The U.S. Supreme Court has been the institution to provide the most protections for citizens throughout history because of certain factors that make it more ideal to give favorable and desired protection to citizens. Supreme Court justices are hired for life and therefore don't face any reelection attempts such as those within Congress, therefore, the justices have the ability to focus on the task at hand without worrying about public opinion or other nuisances that can sway or change with the times. Another tenet that makes the U.S. Supreme Court more adept at protecting the rights of citizens is the fact that the Court is primarily making decisions based on judicial precedent.
Therefore, when justices rule, they analyze prior rulings to align their decisions with these historical rulings unless these rulings were egregious or need to be reformed because they hurt the interests of the public. Dickerson represented a microcosm of how justices use judicial precedent in their decision-making wherein they overruled the notion that Congress can arbitrarily pass a law that prevents citizens from being protected from not being read their Miranda rights when arrested. This decision was steeped in the ...
The expert examines protecting citizens against abuse of government power.