The Supreme Court might be stripping American citizens of their Miranda rights, and that could be a disaster waiting to happen. Mike Papantonio is joined by attorney Michael Bixby to discuss.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             The Supreme Court might be stripping American citizens of their Miranda rights and that could be a disaster. Michael, when I saw this, I, I just got to thinking, this is the Miranda of course is, trying to think, 1966.

Michael Bixby:                    Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             The Supreme Court said, they’re just things that you ought to tell somebody you’ve taken into custody and arrested before you interrogate ’em because of the terrible coercion that existed before then. Pick it up.

Michael Bixby:                    Yeah. Right to, right to remain silent. Right to an attorney. If, if you don’t have the money for an attorney, we’ll provide one for you. These are things that it, it’s there for a reason is because again, the average American doesn’t really know, doesn’t understand the legal system and you get down to it, it’s the coercion. And you do see that the way the police state in America is set up, it is based on, oh, just tell me this. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen instances like this. Oh, if you just tell me, the officers just want you to confess, want you to give them the information that helps them get the conviction, helps them get the arrest and, and say, oh, well, everything will be okay. And, and that’s not the case.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, the history flashback is that it got much worse than that. It got to where it was some situations looked like Guantanamo to get these confessions. And so all of a sudden, 1966, the Supreme Court says we have to stop that and we at least, if we have these constitutional rights, then at the very least, we have the responsibility to tell people about. The case to watch is Vega v. Tekoh. Right?

Michael Bixby:                    That, that’s, that’s right. And this it’s an interesting case, Pap, because the, the person who’s raised the issue is actually the officer.

Mike Papantonio:             Right.

Michael Bixby:                    He said, I didn’t violate this person’s right because the Miranda warnings that’s been the law for, you know, 50 years, that’s actually not the law. That’s not a requirement. That’s not part of the constitutional provisions here that I have to comply with. So the officer’s the one bringing it up and saying, this isn’t actually your right.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, it’s part of that Federalist argument versus state’s rights argument. And that’s where this is going. As this progresses what we’re gonna find is that states get to build their own standards on what they think a Miranda should look like. They can decide what the policies are, how far we can take it. They’re gonna let law enforcement have a bigger, a bigger hand in how an interrogation takes place, state by state, according to who the legislators are.

Michael Bixby:                    And that’s, that’s scary, Pap. And I, I see with this court, I think that there is a very real, it seems like the consensus is there’s a good chance that at least the Miranda warning or the Miranda rights are gonna be eaten away at if not done way with altogether. Exactly under that federalism, oh, let’s give it to the states. And that might be good in certain states, there might be some states where that’s okay. But I see a lot of potential for substantial harm.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Michael Bixby:                    In, in many, many states who are gonna look at it and say, hey, we’ve gotta support the, the police, the police need to have unlimited rights. This idea behind it. I’m like, no, there’s constitutional protections.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Michael Bixby:                    For a reason.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Miranda 1966 was, that of course it’s still criticized as, as it being the, the court going where they shouldn’t go because the constitution doesn’t provide for it. Miranda is right on point with the constitution.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.