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View Full Version : Obama Bush Lite strikes again: asks SC to continue W policy re:? supects w/o lawyer


memyselfI
05-28-2009, 10:09 PM
Bush Lite once again continuing the policy of his predecessor and disappointing civil rights proponents. It's becoming an addiction with him. The SC gave him his wish. :cuss:

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2009/05/26/court_suspect_must_ask_for_atty_to_get_protection/

WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned a long-standing ruling that stopped police from initiating questions unless a defendant's lawyer was present, a move that will make it easier for prosecutors to interrogate suspects.

The high court, in a 5-4 ruling, overturned the 1986 Michigan v. Jackson ruling, which said police may not initiate questioning of a defendant who has a lawyer or has asked for one unless the attorney is present. The Michigan ruling applied even to defendants who agreed to talk to the authorities without their lawyers.

The court's conservatives overturned that opinion, with Justice Antonin Scalia saying "it was poorly reasoned."

Under the Jackson opinion, police could not even ask a defendant who had been appointed a lawyer if he wanted to talk, Scalia said.

"It would be completely unjustified to presume that a defendant's consent to police-initiated interrogation was involuntary or coerced simply because he had previously been appointed a lawyer," Scalia said in the court's opinion.

Scalia, who read the opinion from the bench, said the decision will have "minimal" effects on criminal defendants because of the protections the court has provided in other decisions. "The considerable adverse effect of this rule upon society's ability to solve crimes and bring criminals to justice far outweighs its capacity to prevent a genuinely coerced agreement to speak without counsel present," Scalia said.

The Michigan v. Jackson opinion was written by Justice John Paul Stevens, the only current justice who was on the court at the time. He and Justices David Souter, Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented from the ruling, and in an unusual move Stevens read his dissent aloud from the bench. It was the first time this term a justice had read a dissent aloud.

"The police interrogation in this case clearly violated petitioner's Sixth Amendment right to counsel," Stevens said. Overruling the Jackson case, he said, "can only diminish the public's confidence in the reliability and fairness of our system of justice."

The Obama administration had asked the court to overturn Michigan v. Jackson, disappointing civil rights and civil liberties groups that expected President Barack Obama to reverse the policies of his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush.

The Justice Department, in a brief signed by Solicitor General Elena Kagan, said the 1986 decision "serves no real purpose" and offers only "meager benefits." The government said defendants who don't wish to talk to police don't have to and that officers must respect that decision. But it said there is no reason a defendant who wants to should not be able to respond to officers' questions.

Eleven states also echoed the administration's call to overrule the 1986 case.

The decision comes in the case of Jesse Jay Montejo, who was found guilty in 2005 of the shooting death of Louis Ferrari in the victim's home on Sept. 5, 2002.

Montejo was appointed a public defender at his Sept. 10, 2002 hearing, but never indicated that he wanted the lawyer's help. Montejo then went with police detectives to help them look for the murder weapon. While in the car, Montejo wrote a letter to Ferrari's widow incriminating himself.

When they returned to the prison, a public defender was waiting for Montejo, irate that his client had been questioned in his absence. Police used the letter against Montejo at trial, and he was convicted and sentenced to death. He appealed, but the Louisiana Supreme Court upheld the conviction and sentence.

The Supreme Court sent the case back for a determination of whether any of Montejo's other court-provided protections, like his Miranda rights, were violated.

The case is Montejo v. Louisiana, 07-1529.

Discuss Thrower
05-28-2009, 10:11 PM
Last I checked the president cannot ask the Supreme Court to do jack. Gotta love an independent judiciary.

Gracie Dean
05-28-2009, 10:12 PM
Bla Bla Bla Bla Bla

KILLER_CLOWN
05-28-2009, 10:15 PM
Bla Bla Bla Bla Bla

You no longer have the right to remain silent, talk or be tortured.

petegz28
05-28-2009, 10:17 PM
Just because the Police can ask questions doesn't mean you have to answer. You ahve the Right to reamain silent.

banyon
05-28-2009, 10:19 PM
I read this opinion. This author misunderstands the purpose and application of the decision in its entirety. A defendant who has requested counsel is still off limits to police interrogation, this opinion did not change that despite the author's misstatements.

It's just that defendants who didn't request counsel are allowed to waive counsel and talk to police.

memyselfI
05-28-2009, 10:21 PM
Last I checked the president cannot ask the Supreme Court to do jack. Gotta love an independent judiciary.

Apparently Bush Lite asked them to rule in a manner consistent with what Bush Regular had been advocating. :shake:

It seems to me that the ruling would negatively affect a demographic of Bush Lite's supporters more than it would Regulars. As such, what is the benefit of supporting this?

memyselfI
05-28-2009, 10:26 PM
I read this opinion. This author misunderstands the purpose and application of the decision in its entirety. A defendant who has requested counsel is still off limits to police interrogation, this opinion did not change that despite the author's misstatements.

It's just that defendants who didn't request counsel are allowed to waive counsel and talk to police.

Nice try.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/5214985/Barack-Obama-administration-seeks-to-change-police-questioning-law.html

Barack Obama administration seeks to change police questioning law
The Obama administration is urging the US Supreme Court to overturn a landmark decision that stops police from questioning suspects unless they have a lawyer present.


By Tom Leonard in New York
Last Updated: 4:55PM BST 24 Apr 2009

The effort to sweep aside the 23-year-old Michigan vs Jackson ruling is one of several moves by the new government to have dismayed civil rights groups.

President Barack Obama has already provoked controversy by backing the continued imprisonment without trial of enemy combatants in Afghanistan and by limiting the rights of prisoners to challenge evidence used to convict them.

The Michigan vs Jackson ruling in 1986 established that, if a defendants have a lawyer or have asked for one to be present, police may not interview them until the lawyer is present.

Any such questioning cannot be used in court even if the suspect agrees to waive his right to a lawyer because he would have made that decision without legal counsel, said the Supreme Court.

However, in a current case that seeks to change the law, the US Justice Department argues that the existing rule is unnecessary and outdated.

The sixth amendment of the US constitution protects the right of criminal suspects to be "represented by counsel", but the Obama regime argues that this merely means to "protect the adversary process" in a criminal trial.

The Justice Department, in a brief signed by Elena Kagan, the solicitor general, said the 1986 decision "serves no real purpose" and offers only "meagre benefits".

The government said that suspects have the right to remain silent, and that officers must respect that decision. But it argued that there is no reason a defendant who wants to speak without a lawyer present should not be able to respond to officers' questions.

Critics argue that the 1986 decision is important to protect vulnerable defendants such as the mentally disabled, poor or juveniles who could be easily swayed by the police.

"Your right to assistance of counsel can be undermined if somebody on the other side who is much more sophisticated than you are comes and talks to you and asks for information," said Sidney Rosdeitcher, a New York lawyer who advises the Brennan Centre for Justice at New York University.

Stephen Bright, a lawyer who works with poor defendants at the Southern Centre for Human Rights in Atlanta, described the administration's position as "disappointing - no question".

Nineteen former judges and prosecutors – including Larry Thompson, the ex-deputy attorney general, and Williams Sessions, a former FBI director – have urged the Supreme Court to leave the 1986 ruling intact.

memyselfI
05-28-2009, 10:33 PM
And another. I'm anxious to see BRC, Penchiefs, and jAZ's spin on this one.

http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2009/04/obama_legal_team_asking_suprem.html

Obama legal team asking Supreme Court to overrule decision that stops police from questioning defendants without lawyer
by Mark Sherman | The Associated Press
Friday April 24, 2009, 2:50 PM

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overrule a 23-year-old decision that stopped police from initiating questions unless a defendant's lawyer is present, one of several moves to limit rights that have disappointed civil rights and civil liberties groups.

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has drawn criticism for backing the continued imprisonment of enemy combatants in Afghanistan without trial, invoking the "state secrets" privilege to avoid releasing information in lawsuits and limiting the rights of prisoners to test genetic evidence used to convict them.

The case at issue is Michigan v. Jackson, in which the Supreme Court said in 1986 that police may not initiate questioning of a defendant who has a lawyer or has asked for one unless the attorney is present. The decision applies even to defendants who agree to talk to the authorities without their lawyers.

Anything police learn through such questioning may not be used against the defendant at trial. The opinion was written by Justice John Paul Stevens, the only current justice who was on the court at the time.

The justices could decide as early as Friday whether they want to hear arguments on the issue as they wrestle with an ongoing case from Louisiana that involves police questioning of an indigent defendant that led to a murder confession and a death sentence.

The Justice Department, in a brief signed by Solicitor General Elena Kagan, said the 1986 decision "serves no real purpose" and offers only "meager benefits." The government said defendants who don't wish to talk to police don't have to and that officers must respect that decision. But it said there is no reason a defendant who wants to should not be able to respond to officers' questions.

At the same time, the administration acknowledges that the decision "only occasionally prevents federal prosecutors from obtaining appropriate convictions."

The administration's legal move is a reminder that Obama, who has moved from campaigning to governing, now speaks for federal prosecutors.

The administration's position assumes a level playing field, with equally savvy police and criminal suspects, lawyers on the other side of the case said. But the protection offered by the court in Stevens' 1986 opinion is especially important for vulnerable defendants, including the mentally and developmentally disabled, addicts, juveniles and the poor, the lawyers said.

"Your right to assistance of counsel can be undermined if somebody on the other side who is much more sophisticated than you are comes and talks to you and asks for information," said Sidney Rosdeitcher, a New York lawyer who advises the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University.

Stephen B. Bright, a lawyer who works with poor defendants at the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, said the administration's position "is disappointing, no question."

Bright said that poor defendants' constitutional right to a lawyer, spelled out by the high court in 1965, has been neglected in recent years. "I would hope that this administration would be doing things to shore up the right to counsel for poor people accused of crimes," said Bright, whose group joined with the Brennan Center and other rights organizations in a court filing opposing the administration's position.

Former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson and former FBI Director William Sessions are among 19 one-time judges and prosecutors urging the court to leave the decision in place because it has been incorporated into routine police practice and establishes a rule on interrogations that is easy to follow.

Eleven states also are echoing the administration's call to overrule the 1986 case.

Justice Samuel Alito first raised the prospect of overruling the decision at arguments in January over the rights of Jesse Montejo, the Louisiana death row inmate.

Montejo's lawyer, Donald Verrilli, urged the court not to do it. Since then, Verrilli has joined the Justice Department, but played no role in the department's brief.

banyon
05-28-2009, 10:39 PM
Nice try.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/5214985/Barack-Obama-administration-seeks-to-change-police-questioning-law.html

gee some Brits misunderstood our legal rulings?

Let me try quoting the actual legal decision and see if that penetrates the fog:

“As a general matter . . . an accused who is admon-ished with the warnings prescribed by this Court in Miranda . . . has been sufficiently apprised of the na-ture of his Sixth Amendment rights, and of the conse-quences of abandoning those rights, so that his waiver on this basis will be considered a knowing and intelli-gent one.” Patterson, supra, at 296.
The only question raised by this case, and the only one addressed by the Jackson rule, is whether courts must presume that such a waiver is invalid under certain cir-cumstances...

...These three layers of prophylaxis are sufficient. Under the Miranda-Edwards-Minnick line of cases (which is not in doubt), a defendant who does not want to speak to the police without counsel present need only say as much when he is first approached and given the Miranda warn-ings. At that point, not only must the immediate contactend, but “badgering” by later requests is prohibited. If that regime suffices to protect the integrity of “a suspect’svoluntary choice not to speak outside his lawyer’s pres-ence” before his arraignment, Cobb, 532 U. S., at 175 (KENNEDY, J., concurring), it is hard to see why it would not also suffice to protect that same choice after arraign-ment, when Sixth Amendment rights have attached. And if so, then Jackson is simply superfluous

...

http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/08pdf/07-1529.pdf

memyselfI
05-28-2009, 10:42 PM
gee some Brits misunderstood our legal rulings?

Ok, Robert Gibbs. ROFLROFLROFL

banyon
05-28-2009, 10:43 PM
Ok, Robert Gibbs. ROFLROFLROFL

Hey, good reply to the actual portions of the opinon I cited!


You're a total fraud.

memyselfI
05-28-2009, 10:45 PM
Hey, good reply to the actual portions of the opinon I cited!


You're a total fraud.

Actually, Baghdad Bob Gibbs used the same BS type of response today in his press conference when asked about the British newspapers report of the rape photos. Lucky for him and his boss, he's probably just inspired and provoked the British media to jump into action. He'll be apologizing for any 'misunderstanding' of his words very soon. LOLOL

And honey, I wouldn't be calling anyone a fraud when you are defending the biggest one around.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/05/28/gibbs_slams_british_press_and.html?wprss=44

Gibbs also cautioned reporters against the reliability of the British press. "I want to speak generally about some of reports I've witnessed over the past few years in the British media and in some ways I'm surprised it filtered down," Gibbs said.

"Let's just say that if I wanted to look up, if I wanted to read a writeup today of how Manchester United fared last night in the Champions League Cup, I might open up a British newspaper," he continued.

"If I was looking for something that bordered on truthful news, I'm not sure that would be the first stack of clips I picked up."

banyon
05-28-2009, 10:47 PM
Actually, he used the same BS type of response today in his press conference when asked about the British newspapers report of the rape photos.

And honey, I wouldn't be calling anyone a fraud when you are defending the biggest one around.

Yeah, what BS, really! Read the opinion and understand it? The nerve of the guy! You really got this nailed.


moron.

dirk digler
05-28-2009, 10:53 PM
So Banyon if I am following this correctly because of Miranda they aren't really losing anything since suspects are already protected and can remain silent and request an attorney?

memyselfI
05-28-2009, 10:55 PM
Yeah, what BS, really! Read the opinion and understand it? The nerve of the guy! You really got this nailed.


moron.

Ok so let's take a characterization of Bush Lite's argument from the USSC blog, shall we?

http://www.scotusblog.com/wp/us-challenges-michigan-v-jackson/

U.S. challenges Michigan v. Jackson
Tuesday, April 14th, 2009 5:47 pm | Lyle Denniston | Print This Post

The U.S. Solicitor General, speaking for the federal government, urged the Supreme Court on Tuesday to overrule its 1986 decision in Michigan v. Jackson. Seeking to assure that the right to counsel is not lost during police interrogation, the Court ruled in Jackson that, once an accused has claimed that right in court, any waiver of that right during police questioning would not be valid unless the individual initiated communication with the officers.

The government’s amicus brief can be found here. Siding with a group of states that had argued earlier that the Jackson precedent was no longer necessary to protect the rights of suspects in police custody, Solicitor General Elena Kagan made the same point. The U.S. brief said that the ruling is not needed “given the purposes of the Sixth Amendment and the existence of other strong protections against coercion.”

The brief continued: “Although the Sixth Amendment affords criminal defendants a right to counsel at certain critical pre-trial stages, the Amendment should not prevent a criminal defendant from waiving that right and answering questions from police following assertion of that right at arraignment. Jackson serves no real purpose and fits poorly with this Court’s recent precedent; although the decision only occasionally prevents federal prosecutors from obtaining appropriate convictions, even that cost outweighs the decision’s meager benefits.”

By contrast, a group of former top Justice Department officials, ex-prosecutors at the federal and state level, and former judges asked the Court in an amici brief to keep the Jackson decision intact, saying it had provided a “bright-line rule” that has now become “embedded in routine police practice,” just as the warnings requirement of Miranda v. Arizona has.

The Supreme Court on March 27 told counsel to file briefs on the fate of that 23-year-old precedent. That order was issued in Montejo v. Louisiana (07-1529), a case the Justices had heard in January. The Jackson precedent is centrally at issue in that case.

The Montejo case is before the Court as a test of whether a suspect, who has an appointed defense lawyer and thus the right to counsel has attached, must take additional affirmative steps to accept the appointment in order to bar police questioning with the lawyer’s presence.

Other amici joining in the Montejo case on Tuesday urged the Court to retain the Jackson precedent. As a group of public defenders argued in their brief, “the rule is essential to our ability to fulfill our constitutional obligation to provide effective assistance and to ensuring the fundamental fairness of our adversarial system.”

Jesse Jay Montego’s supplemental brief also urged the Court not to overrule the decision, while the state of Louisiana’s supplemental said it should be cast aside, having been “anomalous” from the day it was decided.

A group of ten states said as amici that the rule was unworkable, and should not be retained.

Criminal defense lawyers and an assortment of civil liberties and human rights groups filed a brief voicing full support for Jackson.

Lawyers for Montejo and for Louisiana are to file reply briefs on this issue on April 24.

banyon
05-28-2009, 10:56 PM
So Banyon if I am following this correctly because of Miranda they aren't really losing anything since suspects are already protected and can remain silent and request an attorney?

My reading is that the only states that are affected are those that appoint indigent defendants attorneys without a request. Police are free to question them until they do so.

banyon
05-28-2009, 10:57 PM
Ok so let's take a characterization of Bush Lite's argument from the USSC blog, shall we?

http://www.scotusblog.com/wp/us-challenges-michigan-v-jackson/

U.S. challenges Michigan v. Jackson
Tuesday, April 14th, 2009 5:47 pm | Lyle Denniston | Print This Post

The U.S. Solicitor General, speaking for the federal government, urged the Supreme Court on Tuesday to overrule its 1986 decision in Michigan v. Jackson. Seeking to assure that the right to counsel is not lost during police interrogation, the Court ruled in Jackson that, once an accused has claimed that right in court, any waiver of that right during police questioning would not be valid unless the individual initiated communication with the officers.

The government’s amicus brief can be found here. Siding with a group of states that had argued earlier that the Jackson precedent was no longer necessary to protect the rights of suspects in police custody, Solicitor General Elena Kagan made the same point. The U.S. brief said that the ruling is not needed “given the purposes of the Sixth Amendment and the existence of other strong protections against coercion.”

The brief continued: “Although the Sixth Amendment affords criminal defendants a right to counsel at certain critical pre-trial stages, the Amendment should not prevent a criminal defendant from waiving that right and answering questions from police following assertion of that right at arraignment. Jackson serves no real purpose and fits poorly with this Court’s recent precedent; although the decision only occasionally prevents federal prosecutors from obtaining appropriate convictions, even that cost outweighs the decision’s meager benefits.”

By contrast, a group of former top Justice Department officials, ex-prosecutors at the federal and state level, and former judges asked the Court in an amici brief to keep the Jackson decision intact, saying it had provided a “bright-line rule” that has now become “embedded in routine police practice,” just as the warnings requirement of Miranda v. Arizona has.

The Supreme Court on March 27 told counsel to file briefs on the fate of that 23-year-old precedent. That order was issued in Montejo v. Louisiana (07-1529), a case the Justices had heard in January. The Jackson precedent is centrally at issue in that case.

The Montejo case is before the Court as a test of whether a suspect, who has an appointed defense lawyer and thus the right to counsel has attached, must take additional affirmative steps to accept the appointment in order to bar police questioning with the lawyer’s presence.

Other amici joining in the Montejo case on Tuesday urged the Court to retain the Jackson precedent. As a group of public defenders argued in their brief, “the rule is essential to our ability to fulfill our constitutional obligation to provide effective assistance and to ensuring the fundamental fairness of our adversarial system.”

Jesse Jay Montego’s supplemental brief also urged the Court not to overrule the decision, while the state of Louisiana’s supplemental said it should be cast aside, having been “anomalous” from the day it was decided.

A group of ten states said as amici that the rule was unworkable, and should not be retained.

Criminal defense lawyers and an assortment of civil liberties and human rights groups filed a brief voicing full support for Jackson.

Lawyers for Montejo and for Louisiana are to file reply briefs on this issue on April 24.

If you can read, (and I understand that's a big if) there's nothing in that quote contrary to what I posted.

memyselfI
05-28-2009, 10:59 PM
Or how about the folks at Talk Left who have been on Bush Lite's bandwagon but appear they torn about jumping off.

http://www.talkleft.com/story/2009/5/26/112220/964

banyon
05-28-2009, 11:01 PM
Or how about the folks at Talk Left who have been on Bush Lite's bandwagon but appear they torn about jumping off.

http://www.talkleft.com/story/2009/5/26/112220/964

how about responding substantively to the original opinon or the selections i quoted?

memyselfI
05-28-2009, 11:02 PM
If you can read, (and I understand that's a big if) there's nothing in that quote contrary to what I posted.

Or Crooks and Liars who are also left leaning.

http://thirdbranch.crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/supreme-court-buys-cops-trust-us-argu

banyon
05-28-2009, 11:03 PM
Or Crooks and Liars who are also left leaning.

http://thirdbranch.crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/supreme-court-buys-cops-trust-us-argu

How about you point out what's contrary and use your own brain instead of some link?

memyselfI
05-28-2009, 11:04 PM
how about responding substantively to the original opinon or the selections i quoted?

How about responding to the fact that Bush Lite did exactly the opposite of what civil and human rights groups expected him to do in supporting this case. How about addressing the fact that they continued the argument the Bush Administration made?

memyselfI
05-28-2009, 11:05 PM
How about you point out what's contrary and use your own brain instead of some link?

Because I am posting link after link of people who are supporters of his who have come to a different conclusion than you. You are posting one opinion, yours, while I am posting different sources of opinion besides my own.

banyon
05-28-2009, 11:06 PM
How about responding to the fact that Bush Lite did exactly the opposite of what civil and human rights groups expected him to do in supporting this case. How about addressing the fact that they continued the argument the Bush Administration made?

How about I already spelled out the limiting nature of the opinion and how it would affect pending criminal opinions?

banyon
05-28-2009, 11:07 PM
Because I am posting link after link of people who are supporters of his who have come to a different conclusion than you. You are posting one opinion, yours, while I am posting different sources of opinion besides my own.

I linked the actual opinion, you linked some commentary. You've done nothing to dispel what I said, so forgive me if it's not very persuasive.

memyselfI
05-28-2009, 11:08 PM
Democratic Underground

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x5739970

dirk digler
05-28-2009, 11:10 PM
My reading is that the only states that are affected are those that appoint indigent defendants attorneys without a request. Police are free to question them until they do so.

Thanks.

I stole this from another website looking this up and this kind of gives an example of what this ruling means. Does this sound about right?


Person is arrested and brought before a magistrate. He affirmatively requests an attorney be appointed and the court immediately appoints an attorney to represent him. After the hearing, the cops ask if he is willing to speak with them.

He says, "but I was just appointed an attorney and have not even met him yet."

Cop says, "don't worry about that if you cooperate with us right away I'll tell the judge and work things out for you. You know we're really more interested in your buddy than you."

Defendant replies, "OK, I guess it won't hurt, I really didn't know what was going down anyway."

Cops then read the rights statement and have defendant initial and sign waiver stating he understands the right to remain silent is speaking voluntarily and that he also understands he has the right to have counsel present but waives that right too.

Defendant gives detailed statement incriminating himself. Lawyer later moves to suppress. Motion denied.

banyon
05-28-2009, 11:22 PM
Thanks.

I stole this from another website looking this up and this kind of gives an example of what this ruling means. Does this sound about right?

No, the part about the defendant affirmatively requesting counsel is incorrect. It is just people who are automatically appointed counsel without a request.