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Medellin Argument: Mark Sherman has this AP story on the argument. The Court extended the argument time to 90 minutes, an unusual step. Lyle Denniston has this report of the argument at SCOTUSblog. Melissa Underwood of Fox News has this preargument story.

Witness Protection: Bob Egelko has this story on a a federal case where reputed gang members are seeking the identity of witnesses before trial. The Supreme Court denied certiorari Tuesday in Fort v. United States, No. 07-31. The Ninth Circuit panel opinion is here, and the denial of rehearing en banc with concurrence and dissent is here. Although the Supreme Court has authority to take federal cases before trial, it rarely does, and the interlocutory nature of the appeal was the first argument in the Solicitor General's brief in opposition.

Harmless and cumulative error are discussed in the Ninth Circuit's decision today in Parle v. Runnels. No mention of Fry v. Pliler, the most recent Supreme Court opinion on harmless error in habeas cases.

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Parle is interesting in that it uses very broad principles set forth in Chambers to support its decision to grant relief. Is there an issue with respect to the degree of generality of the "clearly established law"?

One thing that is unseemly in the decision is the implication that the court took sides between victim and defendant.

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