A criminal defendant “shall enjoy the right . . . to be confronted with the witnesses against him.” U. S. Const., Amdt. 6. We have held that this right entitles the accused to cross-examine witnesses who testify at trial, and to exclude certain out-of-court statements that the defendant did not have a prior opportunity to cross-examine. Crawford v. Washington, 541 U. S. 36, 50–51 (2004); Davis v. Alaska, 415 U. S. 308, 315–317 (1974). We have never held—nor would the verb “to confront” support the holding—that confrontation includes the right to admit out-of court statements into evidence. Nevertheless, the Sixth Circuit held not only that the Confrontation Clause guarantees the right to admit such evidence but that our cases have “clearly established” as muuch. We should grant certiorari and summarily reverse. . . .The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) prohibits federal courts from granting habeas relief unless the state court’s decision “involved an unreasonable application of . . . clearly established Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States.” 28 U. S. C. § 2254(d)(1) (emphasis added). As the dissenting judge below pointed out, no case of ours establishes, clearly or otherwise, that the Confrontation Clause bestows a right to admit this kind of evidence. 780 F. 3d, at 363–364 (opinion of Kethledge, J.). In fact we long ago suggested just the opposite. Mattox v. United States, 156 U. S. 237, 245–250 (1895). . . .There may well be a plausible argument why the recantations ought to have been admitted under state law. . . . But nothing in our precedents clearly establishes their admissibility as a matter of federal constitutional law. AEDPA “provides a remedy for instances in which a state court unreasonably applies this Court’s precedent; it does not require state courts to extend that precedent or license federal courts to treat the failure to do so as error.” White v. Woodall, 572 U. S. ___, ___ (2014) (slip op., at 11). By framing the confrontation right at a high level of generality (making it the right “to impeach the credibility of an adverse witness”), the Sixth Circuit in effect “transform[ed] . . . [an] imaginative extension of existing case law into ‘clearly established’” law. Jackson, supra, at ___ (slip op., at 7). That will not do.The Sixth Circuit seems to have acquired a taste for disregarding AEDPA. E.g., Woods v. Donald, 575 U. S. ___ (2015) (per curiam); White v. Woodall, supra; Burt v. Titlow, 571 U. S. ___ (2013); Metrish v. Lancaster, 569 U. S. ___ (2013); Howes v. Fields, 565 U. S. ___ (2012). We should grant certiorari to discourage this appetite.
November 30, 2015 at 12:12 PM EST