Publication Date



28 p. ; This student paper has been awarded 2004-2005 UNM Law School Thesis Honors.


The New Mexico Supreme Court has at once been both proactive and conservative in expanding the rights of the accused under the State Constitution. In the field of search and seizure, the Court has been extremely active in heeding Justice Brennan's call to the states to expand liberties under state constitutions. Interestingly, at the same time, the court has failed to expand other rights of the accused with few exceptions. This paper seeks to explore some of the reasons why this dichotomy has occurred and offers a few strategies to argue for expansion in three other areas. These include the privilege against self-incrimination, the right to counsel, and the right to confrontation. Part I will discuss the Court's expansion in the area of search and seizure. Concomitant to the Court's expansion in this field, has been the development of the procedure for arguing for expansion, including the proper method for raising and preserving a state constitutional claim. Part II will overview the Court's current positions on a few selected subcategories of each of the three categories mentioned above. Finally, Part III will explore possible arguments and strategies for persuading the Court to expand these rights and depart from its propensity to be in lock step with federal precedent.


University of New Mexico School of Law

Document Type

Student Paper



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