Last week marked the 50th anniversary of what is perhaps one of the two or three most famous Supreme Court cases. On June 13, 1966, the Court handed down the decision in Miranda v. Arizona. That case altered police procedure and the portrayal of police in movies and television, and placed in the American vernacular the memorable phrase that begins with, "You have the right to remain silent…."
That phrase, which is now required to be read to criminal suspects who have been subjected to a custodial arrest, seems at once unremarkable. The Fifth Amendment, which provides that right, has been part of the U.S. Constitution since the Bill of Rights was added to the document on December 15, 1791.