Monday, June 23, 2008

What does Rothgery really mean?

Lots of talk in the legal blawgosphere about what today's Rothgery decision from SCOTUS really means:

Gideon at A Public Defender says the Rothgery ruling is narrower than I've portrayed, while TalkLeft interpreted the outcome more as I did.

Orin Kerr at the Volokh Conspiracy thinks Rothgery raises as many questions as it answers.

Scott Greenfield is also confused what the decision does in practice.

Crime and Consequences calls it a "narrow, almost vanishing, opinion on counsel."

Carolyn Elefant at Legal Blog Watch wonders if Rothgery actually won!

See also an initial story from AP and more nuanced coverage from


Anonymous said...

The 6th amendment gives a citizen the right, In all criminal prosecutions [...] to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

The court says the right has attached at the 15.17 hearing.

Everyone wants to know what that means. Do we give him an attorney then or not? Waaaah! Tell us what to do!!!

Think people! Think!

The court is telling you that the criminal prosecution has started at the 15.17 hearing. That is all they are saying. It is very narrow.

"Yeah but so when do we give him an attorney?"

Well, it depends. When does the his muthafarkin' defense begin?

Some defendants remain silent. Others deny the charges and ask for an attorney. The former has not necessarily initiated a defense but the latter clearly has. The rest are somewhere in between.

Your brain: Use it.

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