Monday, March 20, 2006

We May Have To Change the Constitution, Then

This is a very serious issue, outlined in the LA Times (free registration required) :
Justices May Further Restrict Domestic Violence Testimony
By David G. Savage, Times Staff Writer
March 20, 2006

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court appears poised to make it far harder to prosecute cases of domestic violence when victims are unwilling or unable to testify in court.

Today, the high court will hear the appeals of two men who were convicted of assaulting women based, in one case, on a recorded 911 call, and in the other, on a police officer's testimony of what the victim told him.

Over the last two decades, prosecutors in domestic violence and child abuse cases have relied heavily on testimony by police officers and counselors who interviewed the alleged victims when they could not or would not appear in court.

But those prosecutions have a formidable foe in Justice Antonin Scalia. He insists the Constitution guarantees all defendants a right to confront their accusers in court, and sees no basis for an exception in cases of domestic violence or child abuse. [...]
I understand that changing the Constitution is a serious matter, but it is essential to the well-being of our nation and our people that these prosecutions procede without impediment.