The Law: The Uneven Flow

Ideally, the flow of U.S. law should run straight and true. In fact, it has countless twists and turns, often reverses its course according to the personalities and politics of reigning judges. Thus in three cases. the Supreme Court last week overturned or amended its previous decisions.

∙COUNSEL FOR ALL. By a unanimous vote, the court ruled that the states, under the 14th Amendment, must provide free legal counsel to any person charged with a crime and unable to pay for his own lawyer. It thereby reversed its 1942 decision in Betts v. Brady, in which it held that such...

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