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Sixth Amendment

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

Supreme Court of the United States

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The Antidemocratic Sixth Amendment, Janet Moore Jan 2016

The Antidemocratic Sixth Amendment, Janet Moore

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

Criminal procedure experts often claim that poor people have no Sixth Amendment right to choose their criminal defense lawyers. These experts insist that the Supreme Court has reserved the Sixth Amendment right to choose for the small minority of defendants who can afford to hire counsel. This Article upends that conventional wisdom with new doctrinal, theoretical, and practical arguments supporting a Sixth Amendment right to choose for all defendants, including the overwhelming majority who are indigent. The Article’s fresh case analysis shows the Supreme Court’s “no-choice” statements are dicta, which the Court’s own reasoning and rulings refute ...