A recent Supreme Court decision gutted the Fifth Amendment, requiring anyone who wishes to use the right to remain silent to first state that they are doing so:
Here’s what that means.
Basically, if you’re ever in any trouble with police (no, we don’t condone breaking laws) and want to keep your mouth shut, you will need to announce that you’re invoking your Fifth Amendment right instead of, you know, just keeping your mouth shut.
Leaving aside the serious problems this poses for the many Americans who may not be well-informed enough to invoke the Fifth Amendment, the decision creates a dangerous precedent.
After all, what’s next? Will we have to announce, “I’m exercising my First Amendment right” before we go to church? Blog? Have a club meeting? And if you post on Facebook, should you make note of your right to free speech in the status itself, or do you say it out to your living room?
Or should we say, “I’m using my Second Amendment right” every time we touch a gun?
Or what about the Third Amendment? If I don’t mention it each time I leave my house, should I expect to find soldiers bunking down in my kitchen when I get home?
The point of a right is that it’s yours, and it’s yours independent of any law, and you don’t have to make an announcement about it when you want to exercise it.Published in