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Padilla Retroactivity Taken Up

In 2010, the US Supreme Court held in Padilla v. Kentucky that a guilty plea could be attacked on the ground that the defense lawyer inadequately advised the defendant about the immigration consequences of the conviction.  That case was decided on collateral review in the state courts, and the state court chose to reject the claim on the merits rather than on retroactivity grounds, so the U.S. Supreme Court did not consider retroactivity.  Today, the Court took up the question of whether that decision will be applied retroactively to overturn other convictions that were already final on appeal when Padilla was decided.  The new case is Chaidez v. United States.  Docket page is here.  SCOTUSblog page is here.

Because this case is a federal prosecution -- not federal habeas review of a state case -- it involves only the rule of Teague v. Lane, 489 U.S. 288 (1989), not the different but often overlapping rule of 28 U.S.C. ยง2254(d).

The Teague question is an easy one if the Court is faithful to its precedents.  Of course Padilla is a new rule for Teague.  The Court could not hold otherwise without eviscerating Teague.


My guess is that there are at least four votes for retroactivity.

I know it would be futile, and I know they won't, but nonetheless I wish the government would include an argument that the 7th circuit should be affirmed also because Padilla was wrongly decided in the first place.

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