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44. SCOTUS

Brown v. Davenport, No. 20-826, cert. granted 4/5/21; Scotusblog page Question presented: May a federal habeas court grant relief based solely on its conclusion that the Brecht test is satisfied, as the Sixth Circuit held, or must the court also find that the state court’s Chapman application was unreasonable under § 2254(d)(1), as the Second… Read more

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Torres v. Madrid, USSC No. 19-292, 2021 WL 1132514, 3/25/21, reversing 769 Fed. Appx. 654 (10th Cir. 2019); Scotusblog page (including links to briefs and commentary) Fans of dueling citations to ancient cases will want to savor the entirety of the majority and the somewhat heated dissent in this case; the serjeants-at-mace shew their mace… Read more

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The Supreme Court’s most recent orders list denied cert in a whole lot of cases; one of those denials drew a written dissent from Justice Sotomayor. She would have granted certiorari and summarily reversed an Eighth Circuit decision denying habeas relief to the defendant. Before trial, he’d sought further review and clarity about an evidentiary… Read more

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Greer v. United States, No. 19-8709, cert. granted 1/11/21; SCOTUSblog page Question presented:  Whether, when applying plain-error review based on an intervening United States Supreme Court decision, Rehaif v. United States, a circuit court of appeals may review matters outside the trial record to determine whether the error affected a defendant’s substantial rights or impacted the… Read more

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United States v. Gary, No. 20-444, cert granted 1/8/21; SCOTUSblog page Question presented: Whether a defendant who pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm as a felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1) and 924(a), is automatically entitled to plain error relief if the district court did not advise him that one element of that offense… Read more

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United States v. Palomar-Santiago, No. 20-437, cert granted 1/8/21; SCOTUSblog page Question presented: Whether charges that a non-citizen illegally reentered the United States should be dismissed when the non-citizen’s removal was based on a misclassification of a prior conviction. Under 8 U.S.C. §1326(d), a district court must dismiss an indictment for illegal reentry after deportation… Read more

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Lomax v. Ortiz-Marquez, USSC No. 18-8369, 2020 WL 3038282, 6/8/20, affirming 754 Fed. Appx. 756 (10th Cir. 2018); Scotusblog page (including links to briefs and commentary) The federal Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) bars a prisoner from being able to file a lawsuit without first paying filing fees if the prisoner has “three strikes”—that is… Read more

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United States v. Sineneng-Smith, USSC No. 19-67, 2020 WL 2200834, May 7, 2020, vacating and remanding 910 F.3d 461 (9th Cir. 2019); Scotusblog page (including links to briefs and commentary) The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reformulated the issues Sineneng-Smith raised in district court and on an appeal of her conviction for violating a federal… Read more

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