Opinion in Martinez v. Ryan

Another habeas opinion! Not really a surprising result but a refreshing one given how anti-habeas the Supreme Court has been as of late. This case dealt with ineffective assistance of counsel on collateral review but be careful because it’s not the broad constitutional acknowledgment of a 6th Amendment right to counsel on collateral attack that you might want. Justice Kennedy writing for the majority (7-2) held that when an ineffective assistance claim can only be brought during post-conviction review—which is the case in Arizona— procedural default won’t bar a federal habeas petitioner when the state post-conviction counsel was himself ineffective. So a narrow holding but a good one. The opinion is here.


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