Conservative Dis-activist Judges Shrink the Noose on Presumed Innocence 060610
The current conservative Supreme Court is, by any measure, a law making court. Though the conservatives have long spoken against "activist judges" this court has demonstrated a willingness to make broad law; however, we agree, these are not activist judges, they are dis-activist judges. By this we acknowledge that their actions are negative, they lose ground for common people and increase the power structure we live beneath.
In the recent past the court, in a finding that was much broader than required by the case, ruled that corporations had the same rights to free speech as you or I. Though corporations are not living humans, the court found that they had the same rights as living humans, they are "persons".
Most recently, the court has essentially reversed the "Miranda rights" which a previous court established over 40 years ago. Essentially, you have the right to remain silent or to request the presence of an attorney to represent you when being questioned by the police. The right is found in the Bill of Rights, which we remember does not give us rights, those are inalienable and reside within the person. The Bill of Rights merely outlines and codifies those rights; we have others unless they are stolen by the legislature or the court.
The court has stolen the meaning from the Miranda rights.
Under a new 5-4 decision the court, again ruling much more broadly than the case called for, placed the burden on the citizen, instead of the police. Now, if you want to remain silent, it isn’t enough to simply remain silent. You must literally state that you are remaining silent. Further, if you answer any question even in a vague manner, you are considered to have waived your Miranda rights.
In short, this dis-activist court has made it necessary to answer virtually every question "I choose to remain silent." If you say anything else, you might well be waiving your rights.
Writing for the 4 dissenting judges, Sotomayor noted the unnecessarily broad ruling:
The broad rules the Court announces today are also troubling because they are unnecessary to decide this case, which is governed by the deferential standard of review set forth in the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
In short, in writing a broadly applied rule, the 5 majority justices were being dis-activist.
This is the action of a police state, not the actions of a society which values individual freedom, and most of all believes in the "presumption of innocence."
This fragile but important concept, that the person is innocent and must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, is all that prevents cops from throwing more people than they do into jail or prison for undetermined lengths of time.
We don’t have to bury ourselves in law; we have judges because the law is imperfect and human thought and commitment are needed to make up the lack.
But, we ask ourselves, what was the commitment in this ruling? Is this a court dedicated to liberty and the principle of presumed innocence?