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Obama Administration Proposes Rolling Back Fifth and Sixth Amendments

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CHARLIE SAVAGE
The New York Times
May 16, 2010

Editor’s note: Not even Obama’s predecessor suggested such draconian measures. Obama wants a modification that strikes at ideas established in the Magna Carta of 1215 and British common law — due process and a right to a speedy trial.

President Obama’s legal advisers are considering asking Congress to allow the government to detain terrorism suspects longer after their arrests before presenting them to a judge for an initial hearing, according to administration officials familiar with the discussions.

If approved, the idea to delay hearings would be attached to broader legislation to allow interrogators to withhold Miranda warnings from terrorism suspects for lengthy periods, as Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. proposed last week.

The goal of both measures would be to open a window of time after an arrest in which interrogators could question a terrorism suspect without an interruption that might cause the prisoner to stop talking. It is not clear how long of a delay the administration is considering seeking.

The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the proposal is still being developed, cautioned that it was not clear what the final proposal would include. Several aides to leading Democratic members of Congress said the administration had not approached their offices for detailed discussions of the matter, and the administration declined to comment on the internal deliberations.

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This article was posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 5:24 am





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