the web page (below) provides: SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
DICKERSON v. UNITED STATES
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
In the wake of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, in which the Court held that certain warnings must be given before a suspect’s statement made during custodial interrogation could be admitted in evidence, id., at 479, Congress enacted 18 U.S.C. § 3501 which in essence makes the admissibility of such statements turn solely on whether they were made voluntarily. Petitioner, under indictment for bank robbery and related federal crimes, moved to suppress a statement he had made to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, on the ground he had not received “Miranda warnings” before being interrogated. The District Court granted his motion, and the Government took an interlocutory appeal. In reversing, the Fourth Circuit acknowledged that petitioner had not received Miranda warnings, but held that §3501 was satisfied because his statement was voluntary. It concluded that Miranda was not a constitutional holding, and that, therefore, Congress could by statute have the final say on the admissibility question.
Held: Miranda and its progeny in this Court govern the admissibility of statements made during custodial interrogation in both state and federal courts. Pp. 2—14.
(a) Miranda, being a constitutional decision of this Court, may not be in effect overruled by an Act of Congress. Given §3501’s express designation of voluntariness as the touchstone of admissibility, its omission of any warning requirement, and its instruction for trial courts to consider the totality of the circumstances surrounding the giving of the confession, this Court agrees with the Fourth Circuit that Congress intended §3501 to overrule Miranda. The law is clear as to whether Congress has constitutional authority to do so. This Court has supervisory authority over the federal courts to prescribe binding rules of evidence and procedure. Carlisle v. United States, 517 U.S. 416, 426. While Congress has ultimate authority to modify or set aside any such rules that are not constitutionally required, e.g., Palermo v. United States, 360 U.S. 343, 345—348, it may not supersede this Court’s decisions interpreting and applying the Constitution, see, e.g., City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507, 517—521. That Miranda announced a constitutional rule is demonstrated, first and foremost, by the fact that both Miranda and two of its companion cases applied its rule to proceedings in state courts, and that the Court has consistently done so ever since. See, e.g., Stansbury v. California, 511 U.S. 318 (per curiam). The Court does not hold supervisory power over the state courts, e.g., Smith v. Phillips, 455 U.S. 209, 221, as to which its authority is limited to enforcing the commands of the Constitution, e.g., Mu’Min v. Virginia, 500 U.S. 415, 422. The conclusion that Miranda is constitutionally based is also supported by the fact that that case is replete with statements indicating that the majority thought it was announcing a constitutional rule, see, e.g., 384 U.S., at 445. Although Miranda invited legislative action to protect the constitutional right against coerced self-incrimination, it stated that any legislative alternative must be “at least as effective in appraising accused persons of their right of silence and in assuring a continuous opportunity to exercise it.” Id., at 467.
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