There is a very interesting quote in Adams v. US ex rel. McCann, 317 U.S. 269 (1942) that “What were contrived as protections for the accused should not be turned into fetters. [. . .] To deny an accused a choice of procedure in circumstances in which he, though a layman, is as capable as any lawyer of making an intelligent choice, is to impair the worth of great Constitutional safeguards by treating them as empty verbalisms.” (Id., at 280). The odd thing is that Adams is like a snake eating its tail. It’s not very useful in and of itself, but the phrasing is righteously potent.