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Appeal in Habeas Fast Track Case

Chapter 154 of title 28 of the United States Code was enacted by Congress as part of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.  This law offered a simple deal to the states -- an expedited trip through federal habeas if they would offer qualified and adequately funded counsel in state collateral review, something they have no obligation to do.  Fed up with obstruction of this law by hostile federal courts who would be subject to the time limits, Congress in 2006 reassigned the decision on whether a state qualifies to the US Department of Justice with review by the DC Circuit.

After dragging its feet for seven years, DoJ finally adopted long-overdue regulations to implement this law last September, as noted here.

A lawsuit was quickly filed by the Federal Defender for Arizona and the California Habeas Corpus Resource Center.  As reported in the News Scan of December 6, Federal District Judge Claudia Wilken preliminarily enjoined the Department of Justice from implementing its regulations, further delaying the enforcement of a law that is already 17 years overdue.

Today, DoJ appealed from the order granting that injunction.

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