Richard D. Friedman

Richard D. Friedman

rdfrdman@umich.edu

Website: http://confrontationright.blogspot.com/

Richard D. Friedman, the Alene and Allen F. Smith Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School, is an expert on evidence and Supreme Court history. He is the general editor of The New Wigmore, a multi-volume treatise on evidence. His textbook, The Elements of Evidence, is now in its third edition, and he is co-author of Waltz, Park & Friedman's Evidence: Cases and Materials, now in its eleventh edition. He has also written many law review articles and essays.

In Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004), the Supreme Court radically transformed the law governing the right of an accused to "be confronted with the witnesses against him" by adopting a "testimonial" approach, which Professor Friedman had long advocated; he now maintains the Confrontation Blog (see link below) to comment on related issues and developments, and he successfully argued a follow-up case, Hammon v. Indiana, in the Supreme Court.

Professor Friedman earned a B.A. and a J.D. from Harvard, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review, and a D.Phil. in modern history from Oxford University. He clerked for Chief Judge Irving R. Kaufman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and then practiced law in New York City. He joined the Law School faculty in 1988 from Cardozo Law School. In 2010, he received the Patriot Award from the Washtenaw County Bar Association.


Richard D. Friedman

Richard D. Friedman, the Alene and Allen F. Smith Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School, is an expert on evidence and Supreme Court history. He is the general editor of The New Wigmore, a multi-volume treatise on evidence. His textbook, The Elements of Evidence, is now in its third edition, and he is co-author of Waltz, Park & Friedman’s Evidence: Cases and Materials, now in its eleventh edition. He has also written many law review articles and essays.

In Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004), the Supreme Court radically transformed the law governing the right of an accused to “be confronted with the witnesses against him” by adopting a “testimonial” approach, which Professor Friedman had long advocated; he now maintains the Confrontation Blog (see link below) to comment on related issues and developments, and he successfully argued a follow-up case, Hammon v. Indiana, in the Supreme Court.

Professor Friedman earned a B.A. and a J.D. from Harvard, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review, and a D.Phil. in modern history from Oxford University. He clerked for Chief Judge Irving R. Kaufman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and then practiced law in New York City. He joined the Law School faculty in 1988 from Cardozo Law School. In 2010, he received the Patriot Award from the Washtenaw County Bar Association.

Recent Posts:

Rahm Emanuel and the combination of statutory and constitutional arguments

The litigation over Rahm Emanuel’s eligibility to be on the ballot for Mayor of Chicago illustrates a type of argument that can often be very effective. The statute at issue can plausibly be construed in Emanuel’s favor – but, as the decision of the appellate court indicates, this construction is not inevitable. Emanuel has plausible [...]

How the Iowa vote may improve the long-term chances for same-sex marriage

Three justices of the Iowa Supreme Court were defeated for election to new terms on Tuesday. It is as clear as could be that they lost because they had joined in Varnum v. Brien, 763 N.W.2d 862 (Iowa 2009), the court’s unanimous decision holding that the state constitution gives same-sex couples a right to marry. Especially given that Iowa is a relatively moderate state – it has a Democratic Governor but just elected a Republican one; it has two long-standing Senators, one Republican and one a liberal Democrat; and Obama thumped McCain there in 2008 – one might well expect that high court judges in other states will take note and be more hesitant than they might have been to follow in the same path as Varnum.

Halloween and Racial Sensitivity

My son Danny will turn 13 this Wednesday – he had his Bar Mitzvah yesterday, in fact – and last week I took him shopping to try tor figure out a Halloween costume. When I spotted a dreadlock wig, I hit instantly on an idea that I was surprised hadn’t occurred to us earlier: Danny, an avid Michigan football fan, could be Denard Robinson, the quarterback who has had some electrifying experiences this season. I showed the dreaddies to Danny, without explanation, and had the same immediate thought., Even better from my perspective, he had already wheedled a No. 16 Michigan jersey from me just a week or so before, so we already had the otehr key component of the costume. He could also borrow a pair of maize-colored football pants, we had socks that at least faintly resembled Michigan socks, and of course he knew to leave his shoelaces untied; Denard Robinson, sometimes called Shoelace (now also the name of our new kitten) is well known not to tie his laces. So we were all set – except for one thing.

Recent Comments:

Richard D. Friedman
Well, Parents Involved is exactly the reverse – it’s the Court intervening in society and democratic politics to prevent a progressive outcome. I thought that was a very unfortunate decision. And frankly, I think that the way to Parents Involved, as well as to Bush v. Gore, was made a little easier by a chain of decisions that made conservative justices figure they could play the same game as liberals. I don’t think conservatives find decisions like Roe any less bothersome than many liberals find decisions like Parents Involved or Bush. And I think it’s important to remember that historically the Supreme Court has been more conservative than the general public far more often than it has been more progressive. In other words, an aggressive judiciary is more likely, over the long run, to produce decisions like Parents Involved than it is to produce decisions like Roe. As to abortion rights, yes, I think Roe is an albatross around the neck of every Democratic candidate for President. I think it has been the greatest energizing force for the pro-life movement. If we compare the world-as-is to the world-in-which-Roe-was-never-decided, or to the world-in-which-Roe-was-overruled, I’m sure that the ability of some women in some places to get an abortion is better in the world-as-is, but I’m not at all sure that this is true of women in general. Abortion access is pretty poor in many places in the world-as-is. In a world without Roe, the energizing force is greater on the pro-choice side, which was ascendant at the time of Roe (no surprise Roeoccurred in the 1970 and not, say, in the 1920s) and in recent years has consistently included a strong majority of the American public. The debate swings to the pro-choice side when it is put cleanly in the legislative context – should early-term abortions be banned? – rather than fought out in elections and confirmation battles over whether judicial appointees should be people who are assumed will adhere to Roe. Imagine all the money spent on TV ads opposing conservative judicial nominees instead being used to improve access to abortion services. As to Brown, a couple of points. By the time the case was decided, it expressed the moral views of the vast majority of the American people (again, no surprise it wasn’t decided 30 years before) – which is not the situation with respect to same-sex marriage. And it’s an interesting question how the world would be different if Brown hadn’t been decided. Certainly, it hasn’t succeeded in achieving a whole lot of public school integration. The great legal change achieving desegregation in American society was the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Was passage of the Act accelerated by the moral force of Brown? Maybe. Absent Brown, would Congress – which did a pretty good job on public accommodations and employment – have done a better job on public schools than the courts did. Maybe. But it’s not as if absent Brown Jim Crow would have persisted for decades more than it did.