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Evolution of the Fifth Amendment

5thAmendmentIn the uproar over the SCOTUS decision on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Prop 8, was what I feel is a pretty significant decision on our Fifth Amendment rights. Most of us are familiar with our Fifth Amendment rights, “You have the right to remain silent. Anything that you say can and will be used against you. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided to you…” These are, hopefully, familiar to us because we like to watch police procedurals like Law & Order. The actual text of the Fifth Amendment reads, “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Read the rest of this entry