ILNews

U.S. allowed to join Indy case arguments

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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The U.S. Supreme Court will allow the federal government to have a voice in arguments of an Indiana case later this month, testing the competency standards for pro se litigants in criminal cases.

On March 14, justices of the nation's highest court granted a motion from the U.S. Solicitor General to participate in arguments as amicus curiae in Indiana v. Ahmad Edwards, 07-208, set for 10 a.m. March 26.

At issue is what the Sixth Amendment dictates when determining whether someone found competent to stand trial is also competent to represent himself in criminal proceedings.

The 1999 case stems from an Indianapolis man who was arrested after stealing shoes from a downtown store, then shooting at police while running away. After years of being declared both not competent and competent to stand trial, he was ultimately cleared to be competent for trial, but a trial judge determined he wasn't fit to represent himself. The Indiana Supreme Court reversed that order and invited the U.S. Supreme Court review.

Washington, D.C., attorney Mark Stancil is lead attorney arguing for Edwards, taking over the reigns from Marion County Public Defender Agency attorney Michael Fisher who handled the state appellate proceedings. Indiana Solicitor General Tom Fisher is arguing for the state, and will share his time with the federal government.
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  1. Major social engineering imposed by judicial order well in advance of democratic change, has been the story of the whole post ww2 period. Contraception, desegregation, abortion, gay marriage: all rammed down the throats of Americans who didn't vote to change existing laws on any such thing, by the unelected lifetime tenure Supreme court heirarchs. Maybe people came to accept those things once imposed upon them, but, that's accommodation not acceptance; and surely not democracy. So let's quit lying to the kids telling them this is a democracy. Some sort of oligarchy, but no democracy that's for sure, and it never was. A bourgeois republic from day one.

  2. JD Massur, yes, brings to mind a similar stand at a Texas Mission in 1836. Or Vladivostok in 1918. As you seemingly gloat, to the victors go the spoils ... let the looting begin, right?

  3. I always wondered why high fence deer hunting was frowned upon? I guess you need to keep the population steady. If you don't, no one can enjoy hunting! Thanks for the post! Fence

  4. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  5. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

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