Maryland v. Craig 497 U.S. 836 (1990)
MARYLAND v. CRAIG 497 U.S. 836 (1990)
This is another Sixth Amendment case in which the Supreme Court declined to follow the express words of the text. Although the Court engaged in what is usually described as judicial activism, it acted in a good cause and had precedent for its exception to the confrontation clause of the amendment. In every case in which hearsay evidence of any sort is admitted, the right of the accused to confront the witnesses against him or her becomes empty. In this case the Court held, 5–4, that the victim of child abuse may testify on closed circuit television to avoid the trauma of face-to-face confrontation with the accused.
justice sandra day o'connor, for the Court, reasoned that the state had a legitimate interest in protecting the child witness from psychological trauma. Face-to-face confrontation, assured by the text of the Sixth Amendment, turned out not to be an indispensable element of the confrontation guarantee.
justice antonin scalia, an unlikely spokesman for the liberal Justices who joined him, rested his dissent on the clear language of the text. He accused the majority of a line of reasoning that "eliminates the right." But his view on the admission of hearsay ("not expressly excluded by the Confrontation Clause") would also justify admission of television testimony in the presence of defense counsel—because the amendment does not expressly exclude such a procedure. Scalia further questioned whether the evidence of a frightened child was reliable. But the state, not the Court, should decide whether the child required protection. Scalia's final proposition, that the Court is not at liberty to ignore the confrontation clause, was at war with his several illustrations to the contrary.
Leonard W. Levy
"Maryland v. Craig 497 U.S. 836 (1990)." Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 18, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/politics/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/maryland-v-craig-497-us-836-1990
"Maryland v. Craig 497 U.S. 836 (1990)." Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. . Retrieved November 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/politics/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/maryland-v-craig-497-us-836-1990
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.