Supreme Court Did Not Overturn the Fifth Amendment

Today gave the left two great occasions to ignite themselves (only at the highest level, of course) in a literal and humane manner obviously) and to go out on Twitter shouting “Armageddon!”.

The case that received much attention was New York State Rifle and Pistol Association vs. Bruen. In this case, Justice Clarence Thomas proposed an innovative theory for understanding the Second Amendment; perhaps we should start by reading the Second Amendment. Perhaps we can research the meaning of words that are confusing for example, such as “bear.” And then the courts should interpret the Constitution correctly according to the words in the text. 

Another decision that brought the left further to the edges of any sanity it retains was Vega Vs. Tekoh. The case began in California. The decision was 6-3 in which Justice Alito wrote the decision. The case sparked a plethora of outlandish responses on pundit after a pundit declared it was the case that Miranda warnings, which have become the anthem of the crime procedural television shows, were treated as an infant in the New York Planned Parenthood clinic.

That's how it all began.

On March 14, 2014 Tekoh worked as an accredited nursing assistant in a Los Angeles medical center. A patient complained to Tekoh that he sexually assaulted her medical staff at the hospital reported this incident at authorities at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and deputy Vega was the first to respond. Vega was able to question Tekoh for a long time in the hospital and Tekoh later signed a written statement in which he apologized for inappropriately touching the patient's sexual organs. The parties disagree on whether Vega employed coercive techniques to obtain the statement; however, it is clear that he did not inform Tekoh about his right to remain silent under Miranda v. Arizona, 384, U. S. 436 (1966) in which it was stated that during an interrogation in custody police are required to inform the person being interrogated of the fact that “he has the right to remain silent, that anything he says can be used against him in a court of law, that he has the right to the presence of an attorney, and that if he cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed for him prior to any questioning.” Id. 479.

Tekoh was detained and charged in a California state court for committing unlawful sexual assault. The first time Tekoh was tried, the judge found that Miranda was not violated as Tekoh did not have a warrant in his possession at the time the confession was made, but the trial ended in an ineffective trial. In the event that Tekoh was tried again in the second trial, a different judge refused to dismiss the confession. The trial ended in the acquittal of Tekoh. Tekoh was able to bring this suit in accordance with the 42 U. S. C. the SS1983 statute against Vega and numerous other defendants seeking damages in connection with the alleged violation of his constitutional rights, which included those under his Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination.

In the simplest terms, Tekoh was questioned by deputy Vega about his part in a sexual assault alleged by a patient. The outcome of the inquiry was a written declaration that Tekoh acknowledged that he had engaged in “inappropriate touching.” That statement was used against Tekoh in his trial. Please forgive me for offering an enlightening note of the ways in which this entire incident could be prevented.

Tekoh was later cleared. There are two lessons to be learned from this. First, Tekoh was cleared; secondly, two judges from different trials examined Tekok's complaint regarding the declaration he made to police officers and found no error.

Tekoh, however, hears the wonderful cha-ching sound of a civil rights lawsuit against an agency with large pockets. Section 42 U. S. C. The SS1983 law permits civil suits against officials who rob people of their rights under the guise of authority.

Anyone who,under the influence of any law or regulation, ordinance or custom in or pertaining to any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects or makes subjugated by any citizens from the United States or other person who is subject to being denied any rights or privileges granted under the Constitution and laws. They are accountable to the person who is injured in an action in law, for equity or in any other proper procedure to seek recourse, with the exception that in the event of a suit filed against a judicial official for an omission or act that is a result of his as a judge, relief injunctive is not given unless the declaratory order was in violation or declaratory relief became not available. In the context of this section, every Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered as a statute in the District of Columbia. 

Deputy Vega was successful in a trial which was later declared a mistrial. He then won the trial that followed. The case was then an appeal before the Ninth Circuit, which reversed the decision and ordered another trial, this time with the same set of rules that had not previously been used in Miranda and ensured a victory for Tekoh. This resulted in an appeal to the Supreme Court taking the case. SCOTUSBlog provides a well-written account about the oral argument, though I would imagine that the writer is chewing up the furniture and baseboards over the decision.

What the court decided was that a violation of the Fifth Amendment is a constitutional violation that can make you appear in the court with a “SS1983” claim, but the Miranda warning is not an exception to the Fifth Amendment. Additionally, two trial judges allowed Tekoh's declaration as evidence even though the absence of a Miranda warning. That alone will tell you that this case is about broadening the reach of SS1983 in litigation, and is not related to the Fifth Amendment.

Miranda is based on a practical decision about what is required to prevent the infringement at hearing of the Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination. The purpose of this prophylactic action is met by the suppression in the trial of testimony that is obtained by evading Miranda as well as by the application of the decision in other contexts that are recognized. If a victim of a Miranda breach can bring suit against a police official for damages in accordance with SS1983 will have no additional impact on deterrence, and the possibility of these claims could cause a lot of difficulties.

The acceptance of a claim such as Tekoh's could be detrimental to “judicial economy,” Parklane Hosiery Co. v. Shore, 439 U. S. 322, 326 (1979) which requires the federal judge or jury to determine a factual matter (whether Tekoh was in custody at the time of questioning) that was previously determined by a state court. The re-adjudication of this case would not just be inefficient, but it could also undermine legality by removing the “‘strong judicial policy against the creation of two conflicting resolutions'” that is based on the same facts. Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U. S. 477, 484 (1994). It could also cause “unnecessary friction” between the courts of the state and federal by making it necessary for the federal court that is hearing claims like the SS1983 claim to make a decision on factual and legal issues that have been settled by state courts. See Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U. S. 475, 490-491 (1973).

The possibility of allowing SS1983 lawsuits to be based on Miranda claims may also bring up numerous procedural questions including whether a federal court that is considering the SS1983 claim is required to pay consideration to a trial judge's facts; whether the forfeiture rules and other plainerror laws are carried over to the trial in the case of a criminal, whether harmless error rules are applicable; and the possibility of civil damages in cases where the statement was not made public and did not have any impact on the result of the criminal trial.

In essence, Miranda is exactly what it always has been. Nothing a leftist writes is going to alter this.

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