Seems Like Old Times for the Sixth Circuit at SCOTUS
There was a time not so long ago when the Supreme Court would routinely reverse the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, most frequently in habeas cases in which the Sixth Circuit had granted the petition. These decisions were usually unanimous, and often made without oral argument. It happened often enough that court-watchers speculated whether the Sixth Circuit was becoming the “new Ninth” because of the inability or unwillingness of some Sixth Circuit judges to follow the Supreme Court’s instruction.
Thus it seemed like old times this morning when the Supreme Court summarily reversed the Sixth Circuit’s grant of a habeas petition in Mays v. Hines. The Court issued a brief per curiam opinion over a single noted dissent.
In the opinion below (which was curiously unpublished), a divided panel of the Sixth Circuit granted Tennessee death-row inmate Anthony Darrell Dugard Hines’ habeas petition on the grounds that the state court had unreasonably rejected Hines’ ineffective assistance of counsel claim. The panel’s majority of Judge’s Cole and White issued a lengthy per curiam opinion. Judge Kethledge dissented.
This morning’s opinion in Mays concludes it was the Sixth Circuit,
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