McCain on Shahzad: No Miranda Rights? Really?

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) continued his slow, shameful slide into political madness and legal contempt Tuesday when he declared that it would be a "serious mistake" for law enforcement officials to give a timely Miranda warning to an American citizen arrested in the United States for a domestic crime.

In reaching his unfortunate and premature conclusion, it's likely the senator was helped along by the fact that the citizen in question, Times Square car bomb suspect Faisal Shahzad, was naturalized just 54 weeks ago, is of Pakistani descent and was being investigated for foreign links. Evidently you can offer to trample upon the constitutional rights of a guy like that much more easily than you can the average Arizona voter. And of course there is a generally-supported "public safety" exception to the Miranda rule which federal officials chose to invoke for a period here before eventually reading Shahzad his rights.

Still, I would like to hear a fuller explanation from Sen. McCain about how far to the right he stands on Miranda from where once stood arch-conservative William Rehnquist, the late Chief Justice of the United States, who after a lifetime of conflict with the warning eventually came to tolerate and, ultimately, save it from extinction.  

Presented by

Andrew Cohen is a contributing editor at The Atlantic. He is a legal analyst for 60 Minutes and CBS Radio News, a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice, and Commentary Editor at The Marshall Project

The Blacksmith: A Short Film About Art Forged From Metal

"I'm exploiting the maximum of what you can ask a piece of metal to do."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

An Ingenious 360-Degree Time-Lapse

Watch the world become a cartoonishly small playground

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

Video

The Rise of the Cat Tattoo

How a Brooklyn tattoo artist popularized the "cattoo"

More in National

Just In