Saturday, April 25, 2009

Obama craps on our "Right to an attorney"

To anyone with libertarian leanings that voted for Obama - I told you so. I don't have much time to go into details, but this is bad. We have a right to counsel in our Constitution for a reason. Often, people charged with crimes who are convicted are so because of their own words to the police. Many of us mistakenly believe that the police our on our side. They are state actors, as are the prosecutors. Many cops are good. I know several. Some aren't good. I know a few of them as well. They are human. Having an attorney is a safeguard against self-incrimination. If I am charged with a felony or a high misdemeanor, or if it looks like I will be charged, the first thing I will do is to contact a lawyer. I will not be a fool for a client, and I can represent myself better than most people could.

The case that Obama wants to overturn is Michigan v Jackson and you can read it here.

From the AP
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.

SCOTUSblog has more, as does Volokh

Well, Obama and company seem to be consistant. They hate all of our freedoms.


Communications guru said...

“They hate all of our freedoms?” What a bunch of crap. Funny, you never said this stuff about Bush.

Dan said...

BS. I attacked Bush when he was wrong. I ALWAYS opposed the Patriot Act, going back to the Clinton/Reno/Hatch version of sneak and peek when it was in the name of the War On Drugs. S486 in 2000. I was consistant on it in 2002. I didn't support the creation of Homeland Security either.

Anyway, he's gone, and we've gone from a mediocre president to a horrific wannabe dictator.

Communications guru said...

More BS. You’re using an obscure Supreme Court decision to make a week point, but you ignore Bush’s illegal wiretapping of U.S. citizen’s, torturing prisoner’s in violation of the law, detaining people with no trial or access to the courts or a lawyer, politicizing the Department of Justice, Rendition, free speech zones and screening appearances for just supporters. There is nothing wrong with Department of Homeland Security.

Bachbone said...

"Guru" again proves that he's not really one, and that his communications skills are torturing readers at about a 4th grade level.

What "week" of the year was the obscure Supreme Court point made?

Bush was wiretapping a U.S. "citizen's" what; and torturing "prisoner's" what? "Guru" must have been absent from every grammar class from 4th grade through high school. And how in the world can one call himself a "communications guru" when his spelling and grammar A better handle would be "Communications Illiterate."

1) The court upheld the NSA Surveillance program in 2007. 2) The jury is still out on whether waterboarding constitutes torture. Experts are weighing in on both sides of that matter. 3) I'm waiting for Granholm to volunteer Detroit as a new home for Gitmo "detainees," since progressives/liberals/Democrats believe they are merely poor, misunderstood folks who were in the wrong place at the wrong time and hauled off to the hoosegow. 4) Politicizing the DOJ? Remember Clinton AG Janet Reno and Waco, Elian Gonzalez, Richard Jewell, and contempt of Congress citation for her refusal to turn over documents to the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee? Or how about Reno's Associate AG, Web Hubbell, who went to prison for fraud? Or how about Magic Mouth Obama's current AG, Eric Holder, who as Reno's Deputy AG recommended pardoning felon Marc Rich so Rich's wife could donate to Clinton's library, and recommended clemency for 17 FALN members, which helped Hillary Clinton's run for New York senator? 5) Rendition was started by Bill Clinton. 6) Just a couple of months ago while visiting troops in Iraq, Magic Mouth Obama's team screened those who wanted to attend his appearance. Each was asked who (s)he had voted for. Those who had voted for the Magic Mouth were given a disposable camera and admitted. Others were not admitted. 7) Homeland Security is (b)led by an incompetent (Napolitano) who has already alienated Canada, veterans, independents, liberals and conservatives who might own a gun or have a bumper sticker supporting Ron Paul, and most living along the U.S./Mexican border.

Have a nice weak. :>]

Communications guru said...

Well, a typo doesn’t deter me from seeing BS when I see it.

1) Wrong. According to an April 15, 2009 article in the NYTs, “The National Security Agency intercepted private e-mail messages and phone calls of Americans in recent months on a scale that went beyond the broad legal limits established by Congress last year, government officials said in recent interviews.” 2) Water boarding has been torture since the 14th Century. A Japanese officer was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for water boarding, and a U.S. soldier supervising the water boarding of a captured North Vietnamese soldier was court martialled. 3) Too ridiculous to even address. 4) Yes, Politicizing the DOJ. Yes, I remember Clinton AG Janet Reno and Waco, Elian Gonzalez and Richard Jewell, and I don’t see any politicizing the DOJ. Yes, I remember the vote along party lines in contempt of Congress citation for her refusal to turn over documents. Are you telling me with the millions of tax dollars spent by rightwing tool Ken Starr that he needed even more help in that witch hunt? Yes, I remember Webster Hubbell. Do you remember the illegal extortion Starr used on Hubbell to try and get Clinton? “Magic Mouth Obama?” Real classy. Eric Holder did nothing wrong. 5) Wrong again. The Clinton administration used the practice to send suspects to a country where they would face criminal prosecutions, not torture like the Bush criminals. 6) Never happened; another lie.7) Wrong again.

Dan said...

I'd like to think that I'm not one of those "conspirary theorists." Regardless, it seems as every day goes by we're living in 1984. When Bush was President, plenty of liberals were willing to call him out for his stupid propaganda (e.g. "they hate us for our freedoms, so let's attack Iraq.") But now, these same communists hear no evil or see no evil now that Obama is President. Further, the definition of freedom is perverted. Ever read Rousseau? You ever scratch your head after reading about how true freedom according to Rousseau was whatever the "general will" deemed it to be. Well Obama is the perfect President for a Rousseau utopia/nightmare. Because in this world, choosing what you eat or whether you smoke is no longer considered a part of ordered liberty (see below):

-Dan Sheill

Pogo said...

Dan Sheill makes a lot of good points.

I'm not sure why we are having the Bush v.s. Obama argument, or the Democrat v.s. Republican stuff.

The fact is, both parties have been working hard to take away our freedoms, and we need to resist regardless of who runs things.

Just look at all the petty crap that government now gets involved in, so they can protect us from ourselves. Motorcycle helmets. Seatbelts. Smoking. What we eat, and where we choose to eat it. They register our guns, and tell us who can and can't buy one. They keep track of anyone who makes big cash deposits or withdrawals, in the name of protecting us from drug abuse and organized crime.

And anyone who protests gets one of a few canned responses, such as "You don't have anything to worry about if you don't do anything wrong", or "We need to protect people from doing stupid things (like not wearing a seatbelt) because taxpayers ultimately pay the cost of stupidity".

Government has also taken away most of the freedoms that property owners once enjoyed, and now routinely denies citizens the ability to use their own property in a productive manner, without any compensation.

We even have people in our government who believe that they need to regulate free speech on the radio, for some indefensible reason.

And none of this addresses the loss of freedom we all suffer when the government forcibly takes a large chunk of our money away to pay for government waste and redistribution.

So much of this loss of freedom has happened within the last 30 years, and yet few Americans seem to care as long as the free government handouts keep coming.