Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2000

Abstract

Does Dickerson v. U.S., reaffirming Miranda and striking down §3501 (the federal statute purporting to "overrule" Miranda), demonstrate judicial arrogance? Or does the legislative history of §3501 demonstrate the arrogance of Congress? Shortly after Dickerson v. U.S. reaffirmed Miranda and invalidated §3501, a number of Supreme Court watchers criticized the Court for its "judicial arrogance" in peremptorily rejecting Congress' test for the admissibility of confessions. The test, pointed out the critics, had been adopted by extensive hearings and debate about Miranda's adverse impact on law enforcement. The Dickerson Court did not discuss the legislative history of §3501 at all. However, in an article published six weeks before the decision in Dickerson, "Can (Did) Congress 'Overrule' Miranda?" 85 Cornell Law Review 8833 (2000), Professor Yale Kamisar discussed the legislative history of § 3501 at length. He concluded, in effect, that Congress - not the Supreme Court - should be awarded the prize for arrogance. According to Kamisar, proponents of § 3501 were determined to "overrule" Miranda by simple legislation; they hoped to bypass the prescribed process for amending the Constitution and to persuade the Court to retreat from Miranda. Extracts from the article appear here with permission of Cornell Law Review.