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He's Baa-aaaack

Kentucky death row inmate Ralph Steven Baze (from Baze v. Rees re: the Kentucky execution drug protocol) is back in court, this time seeking a federal court order for "unfettered access" to interview prison personnel in support of his application for clemency.  The district court ruled, and the Sixth Circuit affirmed, that federal courts lack jurisdiction to order such relief.

First, Baze argues that "the plain language of § 3599(f) provides jurisdiction and authority to prevent . . . interference" with an attorney's efforts to obtain investigative services.
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We disagree with Baze's textual interpretation. The relevant provision simply empowers a court to authorize, for purposes of compensation, an attorney to acquire an investigator's efforts--not his total success. Therefore, it does not, as Baze argues, enable a court to order any party that stands in the investigator's way to stand down. To permit someone to seek information is not the same as establishing a substantive right for that person to acquire that information over all possible obstacles.
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In the alternative, Baze argues that the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651, empowers the district court to order KDOC to allow him to interview prison personnel and inmates.  The All Writs Act provides, in relevant part, that "all courts established by Act of Congress may issue all writs necessary or appropriate in aid of their respective jurisdictions and agreeable to the usages and principles of law." . . . Baze argues that, "because the district court was empowered under 18 U.S.C. § 3599 to authorize counsel to obtain services, the All Writs Act authorizes orders necessary to prevent government officials from interfering with those services." . . . Because section 3599 speaks only to funding, Baze's All Writs Act argument meets the same fate as his section-3599 argument. 

Thanks to commenter "federalist" for the link.

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