The Supreme Court ruled unanimously today that accusers have the right to confront witnesses which may exculpate them, and that the Sixth Amendment commands “not that evidence be reliable, but that reliability be assessed in a particular manner: by testing in the crucible of cross-examination.” (This being from the majority opinion, written by Justice Scalia)
What I find particularly interesting about this is that certain other cases, e.g. US vs Moussaoui, are coming up in which this is expected to be a very substantial issue. A strong ruling from the court in this case – and with an opinion written by Justice Scalia, of all people – could be a very significant influence on what comes next, and could even provoke a constitutional crisis if Ashcroft follows through on his threat to unilaterally remove Moussaoui from the justice system if the courts rule in Moussaoui’s favor.
The case today was Crawford v. Washington, No. 02-9410.