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Federal Habeas Procedure — Appellate — Certificate of Appealability

Bernard L. Beyer v. Litscher, 306 F.3d 504 (7th Cir. 2002)

Issue/Holding: Certificate of Appealability required by 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(3) must specifically identify a substantial constitutional issue. Declaration of purely statutory issue isn’t enough, and it is incumbent on counsel to bring this defect to the appellate court’s attention. Nonetheless, this appellant is allowed to proceed, though future litigants are cautioned: “Future petitioners and their lawyers should undertake to show that a substantial constitutional issue exists, however, lest the court of appeals conclude that the procedural error is harmless and a remand pointless.”

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