The Supreme Court on Monday gave a ringing endorsement to defendants’ Sixth Amendment right to the counsel of their choice in criminal cases.

Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for a 5-4 majority, said the right to counsel of choice was the fundamental “root meaning” of the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of the right to counsel, and when that right is violated, the defendant’s conviction must be reversed — whether or not the violation resulted in an unfair trial.