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June 21, 2010

SCOTUS grants cert on another AEDPA habeas issue

SCOTUSblog is reporting this morning that the Supreme Court has granted cert in Walker v. Martin, Docket No: 09-996, which presents this complicated federal habeas issue emerging from the Ninth Circuit (explained here):

Whether, in federal habeas corpus proceedings, a state law under which a prisoner may be barred from collaterally attacking his conviction when the prisoner “substantially delayed” filing his habeas petition is “inadequate” to support a procedural bar because (1) the federal court believes that the rule is vague and (2) the state failed to prove that its courts “consistently” exercised their discretion when applying the rule in other cases.

For quite some time in recent cert grants, the Justices seemed more interested in reviewing meatly substantive federal criminal law issues. But it seems like the ever-intricate issues presented by the federal AEDPA rules surrounding habeas review of state convictions keep drawing the Justices back in.

June 21, 2010 at 10:10 AM | Permalink

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Comments

"ever intricate issues" is an understatement. The procedural issues associated with federal habeas are a morass.

bruce

Posted by: bruce cunningham | Jun 21, 2010 10:17:03 AM

The grant of cert. is interesting. Since Kindler came after Walker v. Martin, SCOTUS could have GVR'd the case. I think the Ninth's reputation is at least partially responsible for the cert. grant.

Posted by: federalist | Jun 21, 2010 10:53:16 AM

"But it seems like the ever-intricate issues presented by the federal AEDPA rules surrounding habeas review of state convictions keep drawing the Justices back in."

This isn't really an AEDPA case. Congress did not change the rules on procedural default in AEDPA, and the "adequate state ground" issue is common to habeas and direct review cases, both criminal and civil.

Last term I filed an amicus brief in a tobacco case, of all things, trying to get this cleaned up. They dumped the case.

Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | Jun 21, 2010 1:08:38 PM

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