Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Fruits of the 6th

One of the fruits of the 6th Circuit, which will either grant or deny a habeas petition based on the panel a petitioner draws, is that the lower courts in that Circuit are in constant danger of being reversed. On the one hand, maybe that is a good thing - it will make those jurists more careful and reasoned in their habeas rulings.

On the other hand, it may just make for a lot more work. See yesterday's memorandum opinion from Judge Katz denying habeas relief in Jones v. Bradshaw, 2007 WL 1464457 (N.D. Ohio 2007). Weighing in at a trim 59 pages, the opinion is an AEDPA tour de force, with the petitioner claiming 34 grounds for relief and Judge Katz dealing with each of them. There are also issues regarding the statute of limitations, exhaustion of state remedies, state procedural default, and both freestanding innocence and the actual innocence gateway.

The opinion can best be described as "workmanlike" - nothing quotable, nothing notable, just the efforts of one judge to write an opinion that won't get reversed.