CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Olsson on Textualist Misinterpretation of the Sixth Amendment

John Olsson (Bangor University) has posted Who Amended the Amendment? on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

The purpose and intent of the Sixth Amendment of the US Constitution has been repeatedly distorted by textualist misinterpretation, orchestrated by elements of the judiciary more concerned with preserving the power of government than the rights of individual defendants. As a result, it is hard to know what the Amendment stands for, since it has been successively re interpreted and, effectively, amended for at least the past 80 years and possibly longer. The author argues that it is time for courts to return to the spirit of the laws which actuated the Bill of Rights over two hundred years ago, and to jettison some of the judicial manglings of this most essential constitutional principle.

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