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The Obama administration is urging the US Supreme Court to overturn a landmark decision that stops police from questioning suspects unless they have a lawyer present.
The Michigan vs Jackson ruling in 1986 established that, if a defendants have a lawyer or have asked for one to be present, police may not interview them until the lawyer is present.
Any such questioning cannot be used in court even if the suspect agrees to waive his right to a lawyer because he would have made that decision without legal counsel, said the Supreme Court.
However, in a current case that seeks to change the law, the US Justice Department argues that the existing rule is unnecessary and outdated.
The sixth amendment of the US constitution protects the right of criminal suspects to be "represented by counsel", but the Obama regime argues that this merely means to "protect the adversary process" in a criminal trial.
The government said that suspects have the right to remain silent, and that officers must respect that decision. But it argued that there is no reason a defendant who wants to speak without a lawyer present should not be able to respond to officers' questions.
"Your right to assistance of counsel can be undermined if somebody on the other side who is much more sophisticated than you are comes and talks to you and asks for information," said Sidney Rosdeitcher, a New York lawyer who advises the Brennan Centre for Justice at New York University.