More Disappointing (Though Unsurprising) Collateral Attack Rulings

Quick habeas updates. As if it weren’t already hard enough to bring a habeas petition under AEDPA’s § 2254(d), the Court continues to show that pretty much any circuit court grant of habeas is going to be overturned. In Wetzel v. Lambert, the Court per curiam reversed the 3d Cir.’s habeas grant over the dissent of Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, and Kagan.

Then, in Howes v. Randall, the 6th Cir. was reversed on a fairly interesting “custody” issue under Miranda. This time, Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor authored partial concurrences and partial dissents.

Long story short, the Court continues and continues to narrow relief under § 2254(d)(1). As I’ve ranted before, it certainly seems that they’re trying to read the statute so narrowly as to make it practically impossible to ever be useful. It’s Rehnquist federalism on steroids. It’s … well it’s depressing.

-Zachary Cloud


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