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White v. Woodall Argument

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The argument transcript for White v. Woodall is available.  In a post last week, I explained what I think is the most important aspect of the case, applying the AEDPA standard of 28 USC §2254(d) to a case where the habeas petitioner needs to extend rather than just apply existing case law to make his claim.

The argument spent less time on the AEDPA standard than I would have liked.  On page 31 the Chief Justice says, "No one's talked about the standard yet."  Then they talk about it.

No clear winner emerges from the argument.  If the underlying issue were before the Court on direct appeal, it actually would be a close call.  As I've said before, though, when the underlying issue is close, the AEDPA issue is easy.  At least it should be, if judges would apply §2254(d) the way it is written and the way it was intended.  Stay tuned.

1 Comment

Kent,

Is there any reason that you didn't address the Brecht issue in your brief?

In what scenarios, if any, do see the Brecht analysis coming into play in light of the (almost impossible to meet) "any possibility" of "fairmined" disagreement standard of Harrington?

It seems to me that Harrington (combined with Cullen v. Pinholster's "record before the state court" limitation) renders a Brecht analysis meaningless.

What am I missing?

Thanks.

Paul

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