The Supreme Court today overturned a longstanding ruling that stops police from initiating questions unless a defendant's lawyer is present, a move that will make it easier for prosecutors to interrogate suspects. The court’s conservatives, in a 5-4 victory, overturned a 1986 ruling that applied even to defendants who agree to talk to the authorities without their lawyers.
Justice Antonin Scalia said that ruling "was poorly reasoned, has created no significant reliance interests and is ultimately unworkable." Scalia said their decision will have a "minimal" effects on criminal defendants. "Because of the protections created by this court in Miranda and related cases, there is little if any chance that a defendant will be badgered into waiving his right to have counsel present during interrogation," Scalia said.