The Court reasoned that the timely assertion by defendant-petitioner of his constitutional right to a speedy trial gave rise to a corresponding duty on the part of the state to bring him to trial without undue delay.The Court rejected the state's argument that Texas was, in this instance, free from Sixth Amendment constraints, observing that this argument was based on an erroneous conception of the nature of comity.
Given the recognized right to a speedy trial, and given the corresponding duty on the part of the state to affirmatively secure that constitutional right, the breach of such a duty will result in the inability of the state to show cause why it should not grant a dismissal. This view of the case is reinforced by the concurring opinions of Justices White and Harlan.
Brumbach, Charles F.
"Denial of Speedy Trial - Mandamus for Dismissal: Smith v. Hooey,"
Akron Law Review: Vol. 3
, Article 7.
Available at: http://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/akronlawreview/vol3/iss1/7