For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Mandy Simon, (202) 675-2312;
Rachel Myers, (212) 549-2666;

Attorney General Proposes Altering Miranda Protections in Terrorism Cases

Proposal Would Be Unconstitutional and Not Make Us More Safe, Says ACLU

NEW YORK - Attorney General Eric Holder said this weekend that the Obama
administration would seek a new law to loosen the requirement that
terrorism suspects be informed of their constitutional rights during
interrogation. Holder made the statements on network news shows Sunday
morning. The proposed legislation would undermine the Miranda
requirement that was ruled to be a constitutional right by the U.S.
Supreme Court, said the American Civil Liberties Union.

The following can be attributed to Laura W.
Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:


"President Obama has taken many important steps to restore
respect for the Constitution and the rule of law, but his attorney
general is now proposing that Congress chip away at the cherished
Miranda protections. It's disappointing to hear Mr. Holder suggest that
Americans should trade their freedoms for security. Congress should
strongly reject this proposal and the underlying argument that the
Constitution doesn't work. Gradually dismantling the Constitution will
make us less free, but it will not make us more safe."


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The following can be attributed to Jameel
Jaffer, Deputy Legal Director of the ACLU:


"Mr. Holder's request for a broad exception to the Miranda
requirement for terrorism cases is not only discouraging, but also
bewildering. For one thing, there is no evidence that the Miranda
requirement has obstructed the government from obtaining information
from suspected terrorists - Mr. Holder himself has said that the
terrorism suspects detained over the last few months provided
information to the FBI even after being informed of their right to
remain silent. More fundamentally, 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



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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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