WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled in Vega v. Tekoh today that a person cannot sue a police officer under federal civil rights laws for violating their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination by failing to provide a Miranda warning. 

The American Civil Liberties Union, which represented Ernesto Arturo Miranda in the 1966 Miranda v. Arizona case, filed an amicus brief alongside the Cato Institute in the case in support of Terence Tekoh, the plaintiff who originally brought the challenge. 

Brett Max Kaufman, senior staff attorney with the ACLU, had the following reaction to today’s decision:

“The warnings mandated by the Supreme Court in Miranda have been part of the fabric of law enforcement interactions with the public for more than 60 years. By denying people whose rights are violated the ability to seek redress under our country’s most important civil rights statute, the Court further widens the gap between the guarantees found in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and the people’s ability to hold government officials accountable for violating them.” 

“We fought for the Supreme Court to recognize these rights, and we’ll keep fighting to make sure our country lives up to the Constitution’s guarantees.” 

Vega v. Tekoh is a part of the ACLU’s Joan and Irwin Jacobs Supreme Court Docket

The Supreme Court’s decision is here: https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/vega-v-tekoh-supreme-court-opinion

More details about the case and the ACLU’s brief are here: https://www.aclu.org/cases/vega-v-tekoh

 

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