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Miranda Rights For Terrorists?:  Today's "Best of the Web" by James Taranto features a discussion of President Obama's decision to "quietly order[] FBI agents to read Miranda rights to high value detainees captured and held at U.S. detention facilities in Afghanistan..."  According to a report by Stephen Hayes at The Weekly Standard, Mike Rogers (R-Mich), a senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, claims that "The administration has decided to change the focus to law enforcement[,]" and "read terrorists Miranda rights before they are questioned."  Taranto notes that Rogers seems to the only source for this claim so far. He also notes that this might be part of the administration's new "global justice" initiative, which was reported in the L.A. Times two weeks ago. The Times reported that the initiative "presumes most accused terrorists have the right to contest the charges against them in a "legitimate" setting."   After compiling all this information, Taranto worries that Obama's "global initiative" could end up diminishing the civil liberties of Americans.  He worries that in the event of another attack the administration will be pressured to diminish the rights of terrorists within the criminal justice system.  Taranto believes that if that criminal justice rights are compromised all of us will suffer, and "the terrorists will have won."

Supreme Court Personalities:  An Op-ed by Noah Feldman at the New York Times, attempts to place the controversy over Judge Sotomayor's judicial temperament in perspective by describing the personalities of former Supreme Court Justices.  Feldman's piece reports that Justice Louis Brandeis "was famously distant," Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. "could be charming when he wanted...but he could be brutally dismissive as well," and even Justice Scalia has made harsh comments - once writing that an opinion by Justice O'Connor "irrational" and "not to be taken seriously."  In spite of strong personalities, Feldman writes that sometimes "greatness may be found in difficult personalities."  He points to President Franklin Roosevelt appointees William O. Douglas, Hugo Black, Felix Frankfurter, and Robert Jackson as examples. Douglas, at least, is far from "great" in our book, and his inclusion undermines rather than supports Feldman's argument. The last thing this country needs now is another William O. Douglas.

Rosen's Second Stab at Judge Sotomayor:  At Wall Street Journal Law Blog, Ashby Jones summarizes Jeffrey Rosen's new piece on Time.com, titled "Where Sonia Sotomayor Really Stands on Race."  Jones reports that by examining past opinions, dissents, and recent studies of Judge Sotomayor's opinions, Jeffrey Rosen reaches a conclusion that is "decidedly undecided."  Rosen predicts that if confirmed, Sotomayor will fill Justice Souter's spot in the"liberal bloc," but as far as race goes "...the only thing one can confidently predict is that the cases involving race and diversity that she will confront are very different from the ones we are thinking about today. In that sense, the evolution of Sotomayor's thinking in the years ahead may be more consequential than what she has said in her past."

Should Sex Abuse Statutes of Limitations Be Retroactive?:  Ashby Jones also posts on Law Blog on Suzanne Salatine's Law Journal column. The column discusses whether a victim can sue his sexual abuser in civil court if it is too late to pursue a criminal action. Jones reports that a handful of states have taken on the question and California, Delaware and New York have all answered "yes."  Jones and Salatine wonder whether this is a good thing, as some defense attorneys complain that some of the complaints have been brought against defendant and religious superiors who are dead or retired.  Some have even claimed that the only point of these lawsuits is to "wrench money from the Catholic church."  Victims of the abuse have a different perspective on the matter.  Matthias Conaty, who says he was abused by a Capuchin Franciscan friar starting when he was 9, stated "It's really in the public interest because it's about protecting children today.  Some institutions have changed the way they screen people. They've been much more responsive to small complaints."



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Wouldn't military necessity be an exception to Miranda's requirement? One would think so.

And remember too, Miranda is not required by the Constitution--should detained battlefield terrorists get more than the Constitution requires?

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