Habeas grant in a summary order today.
Smith v. Rock, available here, Aug. 27, 2009, Newman, Wesley, Rakoff, DJ
- Affirming Grant of Habeas
- Issue: whether petitioner due process rights were violated where the trial court neglected to sua sponte order a competency hearing
So I checked the pertinent local rule. Here's what it says:
UPDATE: After this post, I received an e-mail from Andy Fine at Legal Aid concerning the summary order. He had an interesting theory about Wesley's designation. His take: Sotomayor may have disagreed with the other two judges in the original panel and was potentially drafting a dissent. Here's what he wrote:
This theory makes a lot of sense. More sense than the two theories I proposed. Nevertheless, it is a troubling theory as it does provide evidence that Sotomayor leans to the right on habeas issues.
On the other hand, Andy does point out in his e-mail that Wesley seems to be getting better in criminal cases: "He recently wrote a decision reversing a conviction on Miranda grounds, over the dissent of another panelist, and now, here, he took a position apparently to the left of Sotomayor's." For those of us who had to appear before Wesley back when he was a judge on the New York Court of Appeals, it really is quite stunning and unexpected.