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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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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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Ramos v. Louisiana, USSC No. 18-5924, 2020 WL 1906545, 4/20/20, reversing State v. Ramos, 231 So. 3d 44 (La. Ct. Apps. 2017); Scotusblog page (including links to briefs and commentary) The holding in this case has no relevance to Wisconsin practitioners, or indeed anyone outside of Louisiana or Oregon–the only two jurisdictions permitting 10-2 guilty… Read more

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Kansas v. Glover, USSC No. 18-556, 2020 WL 1668283, 4/6/20, reversing State v. Glover, 422 P.3d 64 (Kan. 2018); Scotusblog page (including links to briefs and commentary) In a self-described “narrow” decision, the Supreme Court holds that, in the absence of information negating the inference that the owner was driving, a police officer had reasonable… Read more

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Kahler v. Kansas, USSC No. 18-6135, 2020 WL 1325817, 3/23/20, affirming State v. Kahler, 410 P.3d 105 (Kan. 2018); Scotusblog page (including links to briefs and commentary) Kansas amended its insanity defense to limit to defendants whose mental illness prevents them from forming the required intent to commit a crime. A majority of the Supreme… Read more

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Holguin-Hernadez v. United States, USSC 18-7739, vacating and remanding a per curiam 5th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion;  SCOTUSblog page (includes links to briefs and commentary). At Holguin-Hernandez’s revocation hearing, his counsel argued for a specific sentence–either nothing or less than 12 months. The government pushed for 12-18 months. After the district court chose 12 months… Read more

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