Following on the cert grants from late last week, the Supreme Court issued another order list this morning. It is quite lengthy, with a number of GVRs based on decisions from last term, some housekeeping orders, and a very long list of denials (cert, mandamus, habeas, and rehearing). Here are a few points of interest:
(1) The SG was granted leave to participate in oral argument as amicus curiae and for divided argument in Spokeo v. Robins.
(2) The SG was invited to file a brief expressing the view of the US in the following cases:
- Lightfoot v. Cendant Mortgage Corp
- Tibbs v. Bunnell
- Odhiambo v. Kenya
- Life Technologies Corp. v. Promega Group
(3) Stephen B. Bright was appointed counsel for petitioner in Foster v. Chatman.
(4) The Court issued a per curiam opinion summarily resolving Maryland v. Kulbicki (p. 77-81 of the order list). From the Court's opinion:
A criminal defendant “shall enjoy the right . . . to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.” U. S. Const., Amdt. 6. We have held that this right requires effective counsel in both state and federal prosecutions, even if the defendant is unable to afford counsel. Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U. S. 335, 344 (1963). Counsel is unconstitutionally ineffective if his performance is both deficient, meaning his errors are “so serious” that he no longer functions as “counsel,” and prejudicial, meaning his errors deprive the defendant of a fair trial. Strickland v. Washington, 466 U. S. 668, 687 (1984). Applying this standard in name only, the Court of Appeals of Maryland held that James Kulbicki’s defense attorneys were unconstitutionally ineffective. We summarily reverse.....Kulbicki’s trial counsel did not provide deficient performance when they failed to uncover the 1991 report [suggesting flaws in Comparative Lead Bullet Analysis] and to use the report’s so-called methodological flaw against [agent] Peele on cross-examination. (We need not, and so do not, decide whether the supposed error prejudiced Kulbicki.) The petition for writ of certiorari is granted, and the judgment of the Court of Appeals for Maryland is reversed."