During oral arguments Jan. 11 in Briscoe v. Virginia, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spent considerable time defending the precedent at issue, Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, in which he wrote the majority opinion (pdf). That was the Confrontation Clause decision finding that forensic evidence needed to be presented in person, not by affidavit, so it could be tested in cross-examination.

Melendez-Diaz was decided just last June, so some wondered why the Court would review such a similar case. All eyes were on new Justice Sonia Sotomayor to see if she would have a different take on the issue.

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