OTHERWISE: Anthony Lewis, Who Transformed Coverage of the Supreme Court, Dies at 85 – NYTimes.com.
Fifty years ago the United States Supreme Court announced in Gideon v. Wainwright that the Sixth Amendment right to the assistance of counsel is so essential to a fair trial that government must provide a lawyer to a defendant who cannot afford one.
No one did more to celebrate the importance of the decision than did Times Supreme Court reporter and columnist Anthony Lewis, who died yesterday.
Though lawyers declared their obligation to serve the public, volunteerism and court assignments were a travesty of justice for criminal defendants. `Gideon’s Trmpet’, as Lewis called it, was a clarion call to make the promise of the 6th Amendment a genuine commitment, however incomplete may be the response so far.