, 10 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
1. So this is quite alarming, and I think pretty much overturns any crim-justice goodwill that Gorsuch had accumulated recently.

In Garza v Idaho, Thomas and Gorsuch basically said they’d like to reverse Gideon.

2. They seem annoyed that the Court has strayed so far from what they see as the right-to-counsel’s originalist meaning: not a positive right, just that counsel cannot be forbidden.

You’re entitled not just to a lawyer, but to an EFFECTIVE lawyer?! Poor ppl are so demanding.
3. Finality.

Who cares if you railroad an innocent person through the system, or if you seriously overpunish someone far beyond what is necessary? We’ve got to wrap. this. up.

It’s a pernicious concept, premised on discounting the human value of the defendant.
4. Thomas and Gorsuch are concerned about the costs of Gideon.

States spend about $4.5B of the CJ system’s total $200B budget on indigent defense. It’s not breaking the bank.

And how much more would costs go up if that thin line of defense crumbled and punishments rose?

This is an appalling statement, utterly divorced from any aspect of reality whatsoever. Pub defense is MASSIVELY UNDERFUNDED.

If they know that, then they’re lying to us.

If they don’t know that, then they are grossly ill-informed.

6. Thomas and Gorsuch just called Gideon the product of “dubious authority,” and expressed serious concern about in any way improving how we defend the EIGHTY PERCENT of defendants who can’t afford a lawyer when facing PRISON or JAIL time.
1. An additional thought on this Gorsuch-Thomas attack on public defense (besides the fact that even Alito didn’t sign on).

I think it’s a reminder that the increasingly reactionary nature of the Court means we have to shift focus to local action.

It’s true here.
2. It’s true even liberal state officials have been awful on indigent defense (Dem govs in NY, MO both vetoed funding bills, Nixon in MO in spectacularly viscous style).

But now we’re seeing GOP interest: themarshallproject.org/2017/09/24/how…

The reason: mass punishment + felon gun limits.
3. By the way, I’m not kidding about Dem. Gov. Nixon of Missouri fighting indigent defense spending tooth and nail.

Legislature approves $3.47M hike. He vetoes it, cuts budget by… $3.47M. And then sinks $1B into a football stadium.

4. Anyway, the Court for now hasn’t adopted the Thomas-Gorsuch skepticism about poor people’s right to resist prosecutors.

But I think there’s a lot of room for real bipartisan improvement on CJ at the more-local levels. Certainly it is where the attention should be.
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