Monday, January 25, 2010

Melendez-Diaz Remains Safe; Court Vacates and Remands VA Case That Could Have Undermined the Recent Ruling

Last June, only one day after handing down its Confrontation Clause ruling in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, the Supreme Court granted cert in Briscoe v. Virginia on a question that Melendez-Diaz appeared to have answered. That development naturally prompted speculation that the Court might already be looking to modify, if not overrule, Melendez-Diaz, given the vigorousness of the dissent and the at-the-time impending change in the Court's lineup.

Well, Briscoe was argued just a couple of weeks ago, and we've already got a decision: the Court vacated and remanded for reconsideration in light of Melendez-Diaz. Why didn't the Court just GVR the case in the first place, rather than have full briefing and oral argument? Minds ponder.



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