Earlier today, in Shinn v. Ramirez, the justice of the Supreme Court shared their thoughts about the 6th Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel. “Not really that big of deal,” wrote Thomas.
“It’s like the biblical prohibition against eating owls,” added Alito, in an apparent reference to Leviticus 11:13-17, pausing to take a bite out of a very small drumstick. “Who even follows that anymore?”
Ramirez had attempted argue, in a federal habeas proceeding, that his previous lawyers had been ineffective for failing to investigate his case and develop the record. Various lower courts agreed. The Supreme Court, however, ruled 6-3 that a federal habeas court may not consider evidence beyond the state-court record even in cases where state court attorneys were objectively ineffective for failing to develop the original record in the first place.