September 08, 2010
On March 30, 2010, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Berghuis v. Smith. The question in this habeas case was whether under the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act's habeas standards, the Sixth Circuit properly concluded that the Michigan Supreme Court unreasonably applied clearly established federal law as determined by the Supreme Court when it concluded that Michigan’s procedures for jury selection satisfied the Supreme Court's Sixth Amendment-based "reasonable cross-section" requirement.
In a unanimous opinion delivered by Justice Ginsburg, the Court held that the Michigan Supreme Court's rejection of the fair cross-section claim did not involve an unreasonable application of clearly established Federal law as determined by the Supreme Court, noting that the Court had never struck down any procedures resembling Michigan's and pointing to its earlier statement that "[t]he fair cross-section principle must have much leeway in application." Justice Thomas filed a concurring opinion.
To discuss the case, we have Thomas F. Gede, who is a principal in Bingham Consulting Group and of counsel to Bingham McCutchen LLP.