TFred wrote:What part of "nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself" is so hard to understand?HB 14 has been pre-filed for the upcoming General Assembly session in Virginia. Could prove to be a very interesting case.
Basically in cases of domestic relations disputes (spousal support, custody, or visitation), this law will allow the courts to treat a refusal to answer questions about immoral conduct as "adverse information". Essentially this bill would penalize your domestic relations position for exercising your 5th Amendment protection from self-incrimination.
Drifting back on topic a bit, I wonder if such a measure could also be applied to questions concerning "prohibited persons" and firearms?
Does this law pass Constitutional muster?
Summary as introduced:
Domestic relations; self-incrimination; adverse inference.
Provides that in actions filed on or after July 1, 2010, for spousal support, custody, or visitation under Title 16.1 or for divorce or separate maintenance filed under Title 20, the court may draw an adverse inference against any party or witness who refuses to answer a question regarding conduct constituting adultery, sodomy, or buggery outside of marriage, or fornication on the ground that the testimony might be self-incriminating.
Now the domestic relations thing may not be a criminal case and therefore not incur the protections against self-incriminations.
I don't believe the law would pass constitutional muster. It's trying to perform an end-around on constitutional protections. It's basically saying "You will tell us your sexual activities and decide you are a bad person or we'll assume you are bad a person".
That law would basically be a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't proposition. I would resist such crap on principle.