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On Tuesday, May 26, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Montejo v. Louisiana. In this case, the Supreme Court considered whether a criminal defendant is protected by the Sixth Amendment right to counsel when he has not taken any affirmative step to invoke said right and has not indicated his acceptance of his court-appointed attorney. Michigan v. Jackson, the controlling precedent, had assumed that anyone with a court-appointed attorney had already affirmatively invoked their right to counsel, ignoring the fact that many states appoint counsel automatically. Finding that this logic could not be reconciled with the facts of the instant case, the Supreme Court overturned Michigan v. Jackson in a 5-4 decision delivered by Justice Scalia and remanded the case for further proceedings. University of San Diego Law Professor Michael Rappaport discusses the decision.
Oral Argument - January 13, 2009:
Decision - May 26, 2009: