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The standard citation for the proposition that the Sixth Amendment doesn't apply to military commissions is The Fifth and Sixth Amendments, while guaranteeing the continuance of certain incidents of trial by jury which Article III, § 2 had left unmentioned, did not enlarge the right to jury trial as it had been established by that Article.
Issue-spotting is important because if you don’t spot the issue, you will not be able to apply the relevant law and analyze it (and this is what you get the most points for! To become a good issue-spotter, practice answering exam questions and comparing them to model answers.
To use IRAC one essentially fills in the blanks of the following formula for each issue that one spots: “The issue is ___________. A court would analyze it as follows: [apply the law to the facts].
In conclusion, ___________ will likely win.” The IRAC method, in its most basic form, is not the best way to answer exam questions. However, it is a great start for learning how to answer law school exam questions.
But I have to think we'll keep having flashpoints--issues where the Sixth Amendment question lurks in the background--until and unless the Article III courts have their say...
Steve Vladeck is a professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law.