The Endurance of Miranda in the Face of Criticism
In 2000, the Court considered whether to abolish the Miranda Rule. Miranda had inspired intense criticism, including from William H. Rehnquist, who had been an assistant attorney general in the Nixon administration soon after Miranda was decided. He wrote in 1969 that “the court is now committed to the proposition that relevant, competent, uncoerced statements of the defendant will not be admissible at his trial unless an elaborate set of warnings be given, which is very likely to have the effect of preventing a defendant from making any statement at all.” See Victor Li, “50-Year Story of the Miranda Warning Has the Twists of a Cop Show,” ABA Journal (Aug. 2016). Three decades later, Rehnquist was Chief Justice of the United States, with the ability to shape constitutional law instead of merely commenting on it.