Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Justice Kennedy, you do have a right to remain silent. Really, nobody can make you write these stupid opinions


I bet the only kind of tea party this Stuntz guy (see the quote below) has been to is where the law profs' wives serve the tea with, you know, scones and cucumber sandwiches.

"The doctrine makes no sense. It provides lots of protection to suspects who don't need protecting, to the best educated and to recidivists who know how to game the system. And it provides no protection to the people who need it most. It's dumb law."
-- Harvard Law Professor William Stuntz, described by
Nina Totenberg as "conservative" when she introduced this
clip in her report on this morning's
NPR Morning Edition

by Ken

You've got to think that the radical right-wingers on the Supreme Court love it when they can fob off justifying an especially preposterous decision on poor Anthony Kennedy. It's as if they can sit back and say, "See, we din't do nuttin'," as they take their latest step toward dismantling the Constitution and American jurisprudence.

I expect you're familiar with the case of Berghuis v. Thompkins -- you know, the one in which the now-familiar Court's bad-boy majority did what Slow Anthony, I mean Justice Kennedy, described as simply extending a previous ruling that the right to an attorney must be affirmatively invoked to the, uh, so-called right to remain . . . um, silent. So that now if you get arrested, yeah, maybe ya got a right to remain silent (and maybe ya don't), but ya gotta know exactly the right words to say if'n ya wanna exercise that right. That's right, ya gotta know which words to say, and ya gotta, y'know, say them.

In order to have this, er, supposed right to remain silent. This is too ridiculous even to deserve extended comment. I remember Justice K saying something in his opinion about the suspect having to do no more than provide a clear, unequivocal statement that he's exercising his right to remain silent. I leave it to you to make up your own joke. From now on, I expect the right to remain silent to be exercised principally in mass roundups of law professors and of legal journalists who cover the Supreme Court. Boy, I'll bet the silence then will be deafening.

You might think that if the redefined right to remain silent requires you to say that's what you're doing, that some burden would be placed on law-enforcement officials to revise their Miranda warning to correctly identify and describe this right. It appears, however, that you would be wrong.

Your mistake is in thinking that this Supreme Court gives a damn about protecting the constitutional rights of a suspected criminal. I don't know where you get these crazy ideas. Or Professor Stuntz either. What kind of conservative does he think he is? I'll bet he's never even been to a tea party! Except maybe the kind where conservative Harvard Law professors' wives serve tea on doilies with, you know, cucumber sandwiches.

Of course that's not what they're up to. Chief Justice Roberts in particular likes to pretend that the Court isn't even overturning previous rulings when he does his Constitution rewriting. I'll bet he mastered that smirk lying to his mom when she asked him stuff like, "Now, Johnny, do you know what happened to the chicken that's missing from the coop?" -- with feathers hanging out of his mouth. If Johnny and his boys Nino and Clarence and Sammy and of course Slow Anthony (the mentally challenged kid from down the block that the gang's taken under their wing) get their way, a newly arrested suspect will go straight from the reading of his Miranda rights to the precinct's new John Yoo Interrogation Chamber.

"I applaud the Supreme Court's decision to scrap the "Miranda warning" nonsense ("Supreme Court says suspects must tell police they want to be silent during interrogation," June 1). If it was needed in the past, it is needed no more. . . ."

You go, Jeffry D. Mueller of Eldersburg! Tell it like it is! Let's scrap all that effing Miranda warning nonsense! Only let's do it the Chief Justice Johnny way -- we'll scrap all that nonsense all right, but we'll pretend we didn't! All the kids in the Federalist Society clubhouse will bust a gut laughing. It'll probably be free beers all around for Johnny and his buddies, including Slow Anthony.

Poor Anthony! Nobody ever accused him of being an intellectual or legal giant. But these days it appears he'll do or write most anything to be allowed to play with the "cool kids."

Now there's an image for you: ultigeeks Johnny and Nino and Clarence and Sammy as "cool." I think now I'm going to exercise my right to remain silent. Is that clear and unequivocal enough?

with his "Bill of Conditional Privileges," formerly known
as the "Bill of Rights"

And remember, this strip was drawn-written before the Berghuis v. Thompkins ruling. (Don't forget to click on the strip to enlarge it.)

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At 11:19 PM, Anonymous Bil said...

NICE Keni!

Thanks for slow Anthony, and particularly Tom Tomorrow!

That's RIGHT...THESE r the good ole daze...


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