June 28, 2007
A 5-4 decision written by Justice Kennedy will mean more consideration of the question whether Panetti is too mentally ill to understand why he is being punished. Here's the case. I will have to read and write about it later, but there are some complexities about when a person may bring more than one habeas petition and the extent to which the right asserted was "clearly established." Justice Thomas's dissenting opinion -- joined by Roberts, Scalia, and Alito -- deals with the requirements of the habeas statute: "Because the Court’s ruling misinterprets AEDPA, refuses to defer to the state court as AEDPA requires, and rejects the Court of Appeals’ approach without any constitutional analysis, I respectfully dissent." Without any constitutional analysis? That's harsh.