Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Supremes Do Not Shy Away From Confrontation

Sorry for the delay in posting.  I've been enjoying beautiful Lake Whitney for the past week.  Now I'm back in the office and have been catching up on the recent cases. 

Most interesting to me, was the Supreme Court opinion in Bullcoming v. New Mexico.  I was fortunate enough to watch the oral arguments in that case and the opinion seems to track the tenor of the justices' questions during the arguments.  Seeing as how I've missed the boat (while on the boat) on the Bullcoming recap, see ScotusBlog's excellent coverage HERE.

In the wake of the Bullcoming decision, and continuing in the pursuit of Confrontation Clause clarity, the Supreme Court granted certiorari this week in Williams v. Illinois (#10-8505) on the following question:
Whether a state rule of evidence allowing an expert witness to testify about the results of DNA testing performed by non-testifying analysts, where the defendant has no opportunity to confront the actual analysts, violates the Confrontation Clause.
This interests me greatly because this is the standard procedure for the military's urinalysis testing (and testifying).  The outcome of this case (when combined with Bullcoming and Melendez-Diaz) could create quite a shift in military courts-martial procedure.

HERE is the opinion from the Supreme Court of Illinois.