Monday, February 22, 2010
Issue summaries from ScotusBlog, which also links to cert papers and opinions below:
Los Angeles County v. Humphries: (1) For a claim for declaratory relief against a local public entity, must the plaintiff demonstrate that the constitutional violation was the result of a policy, custom or practice attributable to the local public entity; and (2) if the plaintiff has not made such a showing, may he or she be a “prevailing party” under 42 U.S.C. § 1988 for purposes of a fee award?
Harrington v. Richter: (1) Does a defense lawyer violate the Sixth Amendment right to the effective assistance of counsel when he does not investigate or present available forensic evidence supporting the theory of defense he uses during trial and instead relies on cross-examination and other methods designed to create reasonable doubt about the defendant’s guilt? (2) Does AEDPA deference apply to a state court’s summary disposition of a claim including a claim under Strickland v. Washington?