Liberal Bloggers Condemn Supreme Court Decision in DNA Case
And get in some good old-fashioned Alito and Roberts-bashing. Take it away, Matt Yglesias
The two cases handed down yesterday are just two new additions to the trend observed by Jeffrey Toobin, “in every major case since he became the nation’s seventeenth Chief Justice, Roberts has sided with the prosecution over the defendant, the state over the condemned, the executive branch over the legislative, and the corporate defendant over the individual plaintiff.” That’s conservative jurisprudence in a nutshell.
Over at the "Moderate Voice" there is a sigh of relief
that Obama won the election and so terrible judges like this won't be nominated:
George W. Bush was perfectly within his rights to select Roberts, and the Chief’s credentials remain everything they must be to hold his position. But the man has been nothing short of a disaster for the direction I want to see our highest court going, and if Obama does nothing else right, I hope he at least gets to beat back the tide there. Failing that, he needs to at least preserve the status quo.
There's just one, teeny, tiny little problem. You see, the Obama Administration agrees with Judge Roberts on this one, as even the NY Times admits in a editorial thundering at the decision
We are also puzzled and disturbed by the Obama administration’s decision to side with Alaska in this case — continuing the Bush administration’s opposition to recognizing a right to access physical evidence for post-conviction DNA testing.
This hints at the real problem in the case at hand. Alaska, where the case took place originally, does not allow a defendant access to DNA evidence (unlike 46 other states). In this particular instance, a convicted rapist has offered to use his own funds to pay for the DNA testing that could exonerate him. Although it is far from certain this would be the case; this particular defendant was convicted on a partial DNA profile anyway:
The state used an old method, known as DQ-alpha testing, that could not identify, with great specificity, the person to whom the DNA belonged. The high court sided with Alaska in its refusal to grant Mr. Osborne access to the physical evidence, the semen. His intent was to obtain a more advanced DNA test that was not available at the time of his trial and that prosecutors agreed could almost definitively prove his guilt or innocence.
I think the state of Alaska is wrong in this instance, and that they should change the laws. But at the same time, I applaud the Supreme Court for not finding another "right" in the constitution buried amid the emanences and penumbras.