In U.S. v. Dickerson (2000), the U.S. Supreme Court held that Miranda was required by the Constitution and was not a court-made rule that could be overruled by Congress. The Fourth Circuit held otherwise.
Which institution—the U.S. Supreme Court or the U.S. Congress—can most safely be entrusted with protecting citizens against abuses of government power? Since Miranda has been applied against the states for almost forty years since
its inception, how can it be credibly be argued that it is just a rule for federal courts? This was a significant victory for the rights of suspects, but also a victory of the U.S. Supreme Court over Congress. Given the court’s role
in deciding the contested 2000 U.S. presidential election and its ability to rule authoritatively on some of society’s most contentious issues, (e.g., abortion, school desegregation, affirmative action), is the U.S. Supreme Court now the most powerful branch of government? If so, is this a good thing?
Does the decision made by the Supreme Court in Dickerson have implications for the federal
exclusionary rule? If Miranda is a command of the Constitution and
cannot be overruled by Congress isn’t the exclusionary rule a rule of the
Constitution? The current U.S. Supreme Court position is that the exclusionary
rule is a court-made rule and not a command of the Constitution. Can that logic
survive Dickerson? Why or why not?
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