At 9:30 a.m. on Monday we expect ... (click to view)
Editor's Note :
At 9:30 a.m. on Monday we expect additional orders from the Court's November 25 Conference. On Tuesday, December 2, we expect one or more opinions in argued cases; we will begin live blogging shortly before 10:00 a.m.
Issue: (1) In Strickland v. Washington, this Court held there exists a Sixth Amendment constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel at all stages of criminal trials, including the obligation to investigate before selecting a defense. In Cullen v. Pinholster, this Court reiterated Strickland controls for trial counsel’s obligation to investigate all phase of a capital case. Did the Ninth Circuit err in creating a new law of the Circuit that held, pursuant to the Ninth’s reading of Pinholster, trial counsel has no constitutional duty to conduct any investigation into police reports, ballistics, and crime scene photos before selecting a defense? (2)This Court has established a clear “law of the case doctrine.” In 2001 the Ninth Circuit held Phillips’s right to effective assistance of counsel, within the meaning of Strickland, had been violated because counsel conducted no investigation before selecting a defense. In its latest decision the Ninth Circuit found it was “compelled” to overturn the 2001 decision in light of this Court’s ruling in Pinholster that the Sixth Amendment does no impose a “constitutional duty to investigate” in capital cases. Was it a violation of Phillips’s constitutionally protected right to Due Process under the Fourteenth Amendment when the Ninth Circuit declined to follow this Court’s law of the case doctrine?
How to prepare for oral argument; answering the questions asked; and the (limited) relation of ideas of Justices, the Court, and jurisprudence to the reality of oral argument. “Just the way they say, ‘Battle plans never survive contact with the enemy,’ oral argument plans never survive contact with the Court.” In this six-part interview, Eric Schnapper — […]
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