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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

The Frame Of Reference And Other Problems, Richard D. Friedman, Jeffrey L. Fisher Nov 2014

The Frame Of Reference And Other Problems, Richard D. Friedman, Jeffrey L. Fisher

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

George argues that, centuries ago, jurists did not distinguish between testimonial and nontestimonial hearsay, and so the distinction cannot be a historically well-grounded basis for modern confrontation doctrine. The argument proceeds from an inaccurate frame of reference. When the confrontation right developed, principally in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and English defendants—Raleigh among them—demanded that adverse witnesses be brought face to face with them, they were making a procedural assertion as to how witnesses must give their testimony. (Giving testimony is what witnesses in litigation do.) Rarely did they phrase this claim in terms of hearsay, for the ...


Come Back To The Boat, Justice Breyer!, Richard D. Friedman Nov 2014

Come Back To The Boat, Justice Breyer!, Richard D. Friedman

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

I want to get Justice Breyer back on the right side of Confrontation Clause issues. In 1999, in Lilly v. Virginia, he wrote a farsighted concurrence, making him one of the first members of the Supreme Court to recognize the inadequacy of the then-prevailing doctrine of the Confrontation Clause. That doctrine, first announced in Ohio v. Roberts, was dependent on hearsay law and made judicial assessments of reliability determinative. In Crawford v. Washington, the Court was presented with an alternative approach, making the key inquiry whether the statement in question was testimonial in nature. During the oral argument, Justice Breyer ...


The Crawford Debacle, George Fisher Jan 2014

The Crawford Debacle, George Fisher

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

First a toast—to my colleague Jeff Fisher and his Crawford compatriot, Richard Friedman, on the tenth anniversary of their triumph: What they achieved in Crawford is every lawyer’s dream. By dint of sheer vision and lawyerly craft, they toppled what many saw as a flawed confrontation-law regime and put in its place one that promised greater justice. For that, much applause is due. Still there’s no denying their doctrine’s a muddle, if not as conceived, then as realized. Consider the count: Four justices almost agree on Crawford’s contours but patch over the issues that divide ...


Confrontation And The Re-Privatization Of Domestic Violence, Deborah Tuerkheimer Jan 2014

Confrontation And The Re-Privatization Of Domestic Violence, Deborah Tuerkheimer

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

When the Supreme Court transformed the right of confrontation in Crawford v. Washington, the prosecution of domestic violence predictably suffered as a result. But commentators at the time did not anticipate how the Court’s subsequent Confrontation Clause cases would utterly misconceive the nature of domestic violence, producing a flawed understanding of what constitutes a “testimonial” statement. Although the Court’s definition was especially problematic in the domestic violence context, its overly rigid approach finally became intolerable in Michigan v. Bryant, a 2011 case that did not involve domestic violence. In Bryant, the Court resurrected a public–private divide that ...


Keeping Up With The Jonses: Making Sure Your History Is Just As Wrong As Everyone Else's, Brian Sawers Feb 2013

Keeping Up With The Jonses: Making Sure Your History Is Just As Wrong As Everyone Else's, Brian Sawers

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

Before Katz v. United States, a search under the Fourth Amendment required a trespass. If there was no trespass on one’s property, then there was no search. In Katz, a 1967 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court abandoned that approach, instead finding a search without a trespass based on the government’s invasion of a “reasonable expectation of privacy.” In Oliver v. United States, the Court found that trespass was not sufficient to create a search. It found no reasonable expectation of privacy in open fields, and thus no search, even though the defendant had erected “No Trespassing” signs ...