Crawford in Minnesota: The First Five Years

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2 Journal of Law and Practice 5, 2009


A survey of post-Crawford Minnesota cases (presented below) suggests that Minnesota Supreme Court does not share Justice Scalia’s zeal for the confrontation right. Its response to the Crawford revolution has been unenthusiastic, even intransigent. The same moral and political forces that led Minnesota courts to bend the hearsay rules in the first place now lead them to bend the Crawford rule. Minnesota’s resistance has already produced substantial conflict between state and federal courts. In the few years since Crawford, the United States Supreme Court has already overruled two key Minnesota post-Crawford rulings. The Minnesota Supreme Court responded by finding other grounds to reach the same result or distinguishing away the holdings of the United States Supreme Court. Finally, the simmering conflict reached a boiling point when one defendant named Orlando Bobadilla, after being rebuffed by Minnesota state courts, sought federal habeas relief. Federal district Judge Patrick Schiltz ruled that Minnesota’s application of Crawford was not simply wrong, but objectively unreasonable.