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INSIDE WASHINGTON

Congressional Insiders Poll

Q: Should there be a Miranda exception for accused terrorists?

DEMOCRATS (38 votes)

Yes   29 percent
No    71 percent

 
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Yes

"As much as I am attuned to protecting civil liberties, in the age of terrorism we must adjust and modernize Miranda. It's a delicate balancing act."

"But only for noncitizens. If they're American citizens, they should be treated as such. Additionally, what constitutes an act of terrorism?"

 

"If they are not an American citizen. No noncitizen suspected of terrorism should ever be read their Miranda rights."

"There should be a public safety exception, greater than an hour but probably no more than 24 hours."

"Read them their rights and then make them listen to Glenn Beck until they die."

No

 

"Who is to decide which American citizens are terrorists without a trial? Joe Lieberman? But we civil libertarians are a shrinking minority."

"In order to preserve all options for prosecution, it is legally important to Mirandize accused terrorists."

"A citizen is a citizen. We cannot cherry-pick who gets their constitutional rights."

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"I believe that our Constitution and laws are strong enough to be able to conduct these trials in a regular manner."

"We should re-examine who is labeled a 'terrorist.' Timothy McVeigh and the Unabomber terrorized the nation with their cowardly acts, yet no Republican suggested they should be tried by military courts."

"It is a quintessential American value and practice."

"Not beyond the public safety exception that already exists."

"You can't strip people of due process because they're accused of a crime, or due process rights are meaningless."

"Attempts to 'modernize' Miranda run a slippery slope. Mirandizing preserves one of our most fundamental constitutional rights as Americans."

"If we give up our civil rights, the terrorists win."

"There should be absolutely no exceptions for American citizens under any circumstances. Period."

"They are called Miranda rights for a reason. There should be no exception."

REPUBLICANS (34 votes)

Yes   74 percent
No    15 percent
Volunteered: Depends, 12 percent.

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Yes

"It should go without saying that when you attempt to blow up Times Square, you pretty much forfeit the rights and latitude extended to everyone else."

"Two near-misses and the tragedy at Fort Hood have Americans worried again. Terrorism is an act of war against the state, not merely a criminal act. It deserves to be treated as what it is."

"We need to arm ourselves with some new tools for fighting a nonconventional enemy."

"We should have a national debate about whether and how American citizens should be treated differently than noncitizens."

"It's hard to say how it would be implemented, but I think that's something the administration and Congress are looking at."

"Yes, but it's complicated."

"But only if they are not citizens of the U.S."

"The ticking-time-bomb scenario is more real than ever."

"This will be, perhaps, the biggest issue of the fall campaign."

No

"If a suspect is an American citizen on American soil, we should apply existing U.S. law."

"Terrorists are enemy combatants."

Depends

"U.S. citizens accused or suspected of terrorism should receive Miranda; foreign terrorists should not receive Miranda and should be tried under military tribunals."

"American citizens have constitutional protections that we can't infringe upon. However, terrorism is an act of war, not merely a 'law enforcement' engagement."

Q. What impact will the offshore oil spill have on prospects for climate-change legislation?

DEMOCRATS (38 votes)

Improve prospects for agreement   29 percent
Damage prospects for agreement    29 percent
Little or no impact               37 percent
Volunteered: Not sure, 5 percent.

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Improve prospects

"Disaster tends to focus people's minds and compel them to act."

"The public is less supportive of oil drilling for increased fossil fuel needs. That will make them more supportive of alternatives to more drilling."

"It provides an impetus for legislative action, but at the same time complicates the prospects for interparty agreement."

"The oil spill clearly demonstrates that while expanding offshore drilling is an option for our nation's energy policy, that expansion must be done safely and must not be our only option."

"Reminds people of one more reason why it is important to transition to other forms of energy."

Damage prospects

"It's flatlined. You can't breathe life into a bill that proposes offshore drilling against a backdrop of an unmanageable oil spill."

"Offshore drilling needs to be a last energy resort: 150 miles or more minimum to drill."

"I think it heats up the rhetoric on both sides."

"At least initially."

"A lot of people will feel the need to retreat to where they were two years ago."

Little or no impact

"Nothing moves the Republicans in the U.S. Senate, even the draining of the entire Gulf of Mexico oil reserve into the sea."

"Republican climate intransigence remains, but the folly that funded offshore drilling is unabashedly bipartisan."

"It should have an impact, but I'm betting it won't."

"Unfortunately!"

"Whether climate-change legislation moves forward will be a purely political calculation."

REPUBLICANS (34 votes)

Improve prospects for agreement    9 percent
Damage prospects for agreement    29 percent
Little or no impact               62 percent

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Improve prospects

"But only because the Democrats will try to sell their bill as an alternative to conventional energy."

"But only marginally, since the issue is much more comprehensive than just dealing with the spill."

Damage prospects

"There was never much chance for climate legislation before the spill. Now any legislation is DOA. And prospects are likely to be poor next year with the arrival of more and more conservative Republicans in both chambers."

"This thing may go from an environmental disaster to a catastrophe. And we'd better be sensitive to that."

" 'All of the above' energy plan should be the goal."

Little or no impact

"Climate-change legislation was dead before the BP spill. However, clearly this will impact all future debates about offshore drilling."

"The spill will [create] tremendous pressure to restrict or ban offshore drilling, but that is only part of climate-control legislation. If the Democrats continue to try to overreach, it won't be bipartisan."

"If prices at the pump climb [above] $4, Democrats won't dare push an energy tax."

"Normally it would have hurt the bill's chances, but it had no shot anyway. After health care, the speaker can't even find the votes to pass a budget."

"The Kerry bill was dead in the water long before BP."

"The more exposure the administration gives to this issue, the less competent they appear."

"It wasn't going to happen this Congress before the oil spill. It won't now either."

National Journal Insiders

Democratic Congressional Insiders Sens. Sherrod Brown, Ben Cardin, Thomas Carper, Christopher Dodd, Frank Lautenberg, Barbara Mikulski, Mark Pryor, Jon Tester, Tom Udall, Mark Warner; Reps. Jason Altmire, Robert Andrews, Michael Arcuri, Tammy Baldwin, Melissa Bean, Xavier Becerra, Howard Berman, Marion Berry, Rick Boucher, Lois Capps, Michael Capuano, Dennis Cardoza, Chris Carney, James Clyburn, Gerry Connolly , Jim Cooper, Joseph Crowley, Elijah Cummings, Artur Davis, Diana DeGette, Rosa DeLauro, Eliot Engel, Anna Eshoo, Sam Farr, Chaka Fattah, Bob Filner, Phil Hare, Alcee Hastings, Rush Holt, Mike Honda, Steve Israel, Frank Kratovil, Jim Langevin, John Lewis, Zoe Lofgren, Nita Lowey, Carolyn Maloney, Ed Markey, Jim McDermott, Jim McGovern, Mike McMahon, Kendrick Meek, Jim Moran, David Price, Silvestre Reyes, Linda Sanchez, Jan Schakowsky, Mark Schauer, Jose Serrano, Adam Smith, John Spratt, Pete Stark, Bart Stupak, John Tanner, Ellen Tauscher, Bennie Thompson, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Henry Waxman, and Peter Welch.

GOP Congressional Insiders Sens. Lamar Alexander, Jim Bunning, John Cornyn, Jim DeMint, John Ensign, Lindsey Graham, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Johnny Isakson, George LeMieux, Richard Lugar, Lisa Murkowski, Jeff Sessions, Olympia Snowe, John Thune, David Vitter; Reps. Michele Bachmann, Brian Bilbray, Marsha Blackburn, Roy Blunt, John Boehner, Charles Boustany, Kevin Brady, John Campbell, Eric Cantor, John Carter, Michael Castle, Tom Cole, Mike Conaway, David Dreier, Jeff Flake, Scott Garrett, Bob Goodlatte, Kay Granger, Doc Hastings, Pete Hoekstra, Darrell Issa, Peter King, Jack Kingston, Mark Kirk, John Kline, Christopher Lee, Dan Lungren, Kenny Marchant, Kevin McCarthy, Patrick McHenry, John Mica, Candice Miller, Sue Myrick, Devin Nunes, Mike Pence, Tom Price, Adam Putnam, Dave Reichert, Mike Rogers of Michigan, Peter Roskam, Paul Ryan, Pete Sessions, John Shadegg, Adrian Smith, Mark Souder, Pat Tiberi, Fred Upton, and Joe Wilson.

This article appears in the May 15, 2010 edition of National Journal Magazine Contents.

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