Edwards (defendant) wanted to present his own defense at trial. The state court held that Edwards was mentally competent to stand trial only if represented by a lawyer; he was mentally incompetent to represent himself. The Constitutional standard for mental competency to stand trial established in Dusky v. United States, 420 U.S. 162 (1960), is whether the defendant can rationally communicate with his lawyer to a reasonable degree and understand the proceedings. Edwards was represented by a lawyer at trial and convicted. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to decide whether the Constitution allows a state to require that a defendant be represented by a lawyer at trial if the defendant meets the Dusky standard for mental competency to stand trial.