In the wake of the attempted bombing in New York City’s Times Square earlier this month there have been signals from the Obama administration that it would seek a new law to loosen the requirement that terrorism suspects be informed of their constitutional rights during interrogation.
Attorney General Eric Holder alluded to this during a string of appearances on network news shows on Sunday morning, and it has civil and human rights defenders up in arms.
For example, the nation’s top civil rights organization, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), said the proposal, if it became legislation, would undermine the Miranda requirement that was ruled to be a constitutional right by the United States Supreme Court.
Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office Laura W. Murphy expressed her disappointment at what she saw was Holder’s suggestion that Americans should choose between their freedoms and security.
Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the ACLU, added that "legislation that significantly undermined Miranda would be unconstitutional, as Mr. Holder should know as well as anyone. The Miranda requirement is rooted in the Fifth Amendment."
On May 1, Faisal Shahzad, a U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent, allegedly tried to blow up a car packed with explosives in the middle of Times Square in New York City. The attempt was unsuccessful and Shahzad was apprehended two days later as he was trying to leave the country on a a flight from JFK airport to Dubai.