Part of an interesting question I had the other day had me explaining that since we are a common law country, there are court cases that interpret laws that then themselves become codified law, but not all the time. I was trying to think of a nice, non-legal way to say that, and decided to use Miranda as my example.

I said something like:

Think about Miranda rights. The U.S. Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona is an interpretation of the 5th Amendment. It effected the way the police do their work, and it is one of the most important tenets of constitutional criminal procedure. But, you won’t the words “you have the right to remain silent; anything you say can, and will, be used against you in a court of law” in the text of the Constitution.

Is that a reasonable explanation? Is there a better way? I just figure that enough people watch Law & Order to be familiar with the Miranda warning.

Let’s violate copyright just a little bit and listen to the L&O *doink doink*