Court decides Magwood. And it's another habeas win! And, as I predicted, it was a 5-4 result.
But the breakdown is one of the oddest lineups I have ever seen in a habeas case. Truly.
Here's the holding: the defendant's habeas application is not a "second or successive" petition because it challenges a new judgment for the first time.
That's the result I was hoping for as I thought that it really was the most reasonable reading of the habeas statute. And it did not implicate federalism concerns.
But, to my surprise, Thomas wrote the opinion. Let me repeat that, Thomas wrote an opinion in favor of a habeas petitioner. And he was joined by Scalia, as well as Stevens, Breyer, and Sotomayor.
And here's who dissented: Kennedy, CJ Roberts, Ginsburg, and Alito.
Wow. That's a crazy breakdown. I can't wait to see the opinion.
UPDATE: The opinion can be found here.