The Meaning of Rothgery:
I'm trying to understand this morning's important Sixth Amendment decision in Rothgery v. Gillespie County, and in particular the key practical question raised by the case: When exactly does the Sixth Amendment attach, and what does that mean? The opinion is clear that it only addresses the first question: It goes out of its way to say that the opinion does not answer what it means for the Sixth Amendment right to attach when there is no hearing pending (see slip op at 20). But I'm having a little trouble understanding exactly when the right to counsel now attaches.

  The Court states its holding in Rothgery as follows:
[A] criminal defendant's initial appearance before a judicial officer, where he learns the charge against him and his liberty is subject to restriction, marks the start of adversary judicial proceedings that trigger attachment of the Sixth Amendment right to counsel.
  I am not a Sixth Amendment expert, so I have a few questions for those who are: Does this mean that there must be counsel before a detention hearing occurs, or perhaps afterwards? If it means there must be counsel before the detention hearing, how is Rothgery consistent with the Sixth Amendment discussion in Gerstein v. Pugh, where the Court indicated that "pretrial custody may affect to some extent the defendant's ability to assist in preparation of his defense," but that a probable cause hearing did not trigger a critical stage requiring a constitutional right to counsel? Is the idea that there is an abstract right at that stage but that the lawyer doesn't actually need to be present for the hearing? And if a person is arrested on a warrant, does the crime named in the warrant count as "the charge against him"? Are all initial appearances now enough to trigger the Sixth Amendment right to counsel, or is the gist of Rothgery that there must be counsel appointed before any detention after the initial 48 hour window?