Constitutional Interpretation and Coercive Interrogation after Chavez v. Martinez


Using the Supreme Court's decision last Term in Chavez v. Martinez as a launching pad, this article reveals and addresses fundamental tensions in constitutional interpretation, the law of interrogation, and civil rights litigation. First, this article highlights the importance of remedies to the definition of constitutional rights, which compels us to jettison the idea of prophylactic rules and accept Congress's role in constitutional interpretation. Armed with these insights, the article next considers the law of coercive interrogation. I explain why the privilege against self-incrimination is more than a trial right, and I redefine the central holding of Miranda to take better account of the remedies it provides. Finally, recognizing the need to cement these views, the article proposes a broad damages remedy for unconstitutionally coercive interrogation in violation of the privilege or related due process doctrines.


Civil Rights and Discrimination | Constitutional Law | Criminal Law | Criminal Procedure | Legal Remedies

Date of this Version

July 2004

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