Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Curiel v. Miller, No. 11-56949 (7-25-16)(en banc)(Murguia; Reinhardt concurring and Bybee concurring).  In an en banc opinion, the 9th found the state petitioner's federal habeas timely under AEDPA.  It was timely because the California Supreme Court, in denying the petition, cited precedent dealing with deficient pleading.  Thus, it can be taken as being decided on its merits, and not denied for being untimely. 

The concurrences go to the practices of the state supreme court.  In recognition of deference, the staggering number of state petitions, and the role of state courts, Reinhardt urges the California State Supreme Court to certify certain classes of cases that would benefit from federal court review.  In this manner, the federal courts can protect constitutional rights.
Bybee concurs to express frustration at the communication between the state and federal courts as to the scope of the state court's denial of petitions.  He calls for the state court to clarify its rulings and what it decides, or doesn't, rather than forcing the federal courts to read the tea leaves and take hints.

The decision is here:


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