Since the U.S. Supreme Court decided Texas v. Cobb in 2001, eight courts of appeals have rached divergent conclusions as to the scope and extent of a criminal defendant's Sixth Amendment right to counsel when he is being prosecuted by multiple sovereigns, including, most recently, the U.S. Court of appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in 2008. Invariably, each circuit court purports to draw conclusive support for its holding from the plain language of Cobb. The conflict among the circuits reveals a tension between the courts; desire to balance fundamental individual and legitimate state interests, achieve uniformity and consistency in the area of constitutional criminal procedure, and give preclusive effect to a recent holding of the Supreme Court that appears, at least superficially to control the outcome of the case. Adding a new wrinkle of yet unknown consequence to the debate is the Supreme Court's very recent hold in Montejo v. Lousisiana which overruled Michigan v. Jackson and a signficant portion of the Sixth Amendment exclusionary rule.
Ryan M. Yanovich,
Answering Justice Scalia's Question: Dual Sovereignty and the Sixth Amendment Right to Counsel After Texas v. Cobb and Montejo v. Louisiana,
78 Fordham L. Rev. 1029
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/flr/vol78/iss2/15