Tomorrow, Senator Lieberman (I-Connecticut), will introduce a proposal to strip Americans, involved in terrorist acts, of their citizenship to make it possible to sidestep the need to Mirandize them. This comes after reports in which law enforcement officials have said the Times Square terror suspect, “hasn’t stop talking”, after being read his Miranda Warning. Why is Lieberman introducing this proposal? According to Anil Kalhan, a law professor at Drexel University, this proposal will not stop terrorist suspects from being Mirandized. “Miranda applies if somebody’s going to be charged with a crime, and that applies to somebody whether they’re a citizen or not,” said Anil Kalhan in an interview with Sam Stein of the Huffington Post. So, if terrorist are still going to have Miranda warnings read to them, then why introduce this proposal? The real reason Lieberman is introducing this proposal is to throw terrorist with American citizenship into a military tribunal instead of trying them in Federal civilian courts, according to Sam Stein of the Huffington Post. “It sounds like a draconian solution,” said John Bellinger a legal adviser to the United States Secretary of State during the Bush administration, in an interview with the Huffington Post. The issue of revoking citizenship has been litigated to the highest levels of the justice system already. And as it stands now, the standard is set fairly high continues Bellinger. Wondering what case revoking citizenship was of issue? Afroyim v. Rusk (1967) the Supreme Court ruled that a United States citizen could not be deprived of his or her citizenship involuntarily. The burden of proof falls on the government to determine that the person intends to revoke his or her own citizenship.
I am not so worried that this proposal will get to floor or get voted on, because frankly it doesn’t have the backing. And if it did have the backing, it wouldn’t hold up in court. What I worry about is the motive behind the proposal. We have been a country of law for 200 years. Now is not the time to change, that is exactly what the terrorist want us to do. They want us to change how we go about our daily day. They want to scare us. I understand being scared of terrorist attacks, but as a country we cannot diverge from our belief in the law.