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Supreme Court 2002-2003 Review
By G. Paul McCormick
The 2002-03 term of the U.S. Supreme Court decided high-profile cases
involving the Texas sodomy statute and the Virginia cross-burning
statute. However, there were other equally important cases focusing on
the California “three strikes” law, sex offender registration statutes,
effective assistance of counsel in death penalty cases, the
ramifications of coerced statements, statute of limitations in sex
cases, RICO, the law of conspiracy and, as usual, several cases
pertaining to the AEDPA. A consistent theme permeating many of the cases
was whether a defendant’s “fundamental right” had somehow been
compromised, or whether its lesser cousin, a mere “liberty interest,”
was involved. In several decisions, the conservative members of the
court criticized the majority for recognizing “liberty interests” when
no fundamental right was implicated. Indeed, the origins of liberty
interests seem somewhat vague, but the concept probably has its source
in Griswold v. C
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