Ellis Washington’s latest Worldnutdaily column is yet another inane and badly reasoned attack on liberal jurisprudence, this time focusing on the 6th Amendment, which details most of the protections for those accused of committing a crime. That amendment says:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
But Washington is quite upset that the courts have actually, you know, enforced those amendments and made them meaningful in the real world, and equally upset that they have incorporated the 6th Amendment against the states:
Yet in modern times this storied history of the Bill of Rights has been severely perverted by what I’ve called the enduring, perpetual Progressive Revolution, whereby the greater part of criminal prosecutions in the United States are at the state and local levels. Thus to this end, all of the criminal-defendant rights and protections contained within the Sixth Amendment did not originally extend to most Americans until the early 1960s when the Supreme Court began systematically incorporating the guarantees of the Bill of Rights to the states through the 14th Amendment with the radical Warren Court (1953-68) followed by the Burger Court (1969-85). The vast majority of Supreme Court cases regarding criminal-defendant rights come during these two leftist, activist and largely unconstitutional judicial eras which has contributed greatly to deconstructing America’s Judeo-Christian traditions, Natural Law, culture and society while contributing greatly to America’s existential constitutional crisis.
Possibly the best-known case from this era relating to the Sixth Amendment is Gideon v. Wainwright (1963), which held that all persons accused of a serious crime are entitled to an attorney, even if they cannot afford one, a rule that was soon extended to cover misdemeanors as well, at taxpayers’ expense. Three years later, the Supreme Court combined the right-to-counsel rule established in Gideon with the Fifth Amendment prohibition against self-incrimination to create the principles animating Miranda v. Arizona (1966). Not since the creation of the Bill of Rights by the constitutional framers in 1791 had the Court ever interpreted the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to mean that individuals had rights to criminal due-process guarantees out of ignorance of the law or indigent economic status. Decisions such as Gideon and Miranda by leftist jurists systematically deconstructed and perverted the U.S. Constitution to create multitudes of new defendant “rights” out of whole cloth…
Applying to the so-called “Incorporation Doctrine” whereby liberal activist judges apply many provisions of the Bill of Rights (including the Sixth Amendment) to the States through the 14th Amendment due-process clause is one of the most enduring yet ignored constitutional con jobs in the history of American jurisprudence – a move which for 50 years has literally given untold multitudes of criminals a key to their own jail cells … at taxpayers expense.
Uh, yeah. He thinks the right to a court-appointed attorney was a perversion of hte constitution and created “out of whole cloth.” Seems to me that when the 6th Amendment says that all defendants have the right “to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence,” that’s pretty clear. To say that this applies only to those who can afford to pay an attorney is to make the text completely meaningless for the overwhelming majority of criminal defendants. Washington, of course, doesn’t care about such people.
That is an appalling position for anyone to take, but doubly so for a black man. I’m generally not fond of calling black conservatives “Uncle Toms” but I think that accusation fits pretty well for Washington and for Clarence Thomas, who told Senators that because of his upbringing in a desperately poor black family, he would have particular empathy for black people accused of crimes. His time on the court, where he has an unblemished record of ignoring and demeaning every meaningful protection for criminal defendants, shows the exact opposite.