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Sam Heldman


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Wednesday, October 15, 2003
Not behind quite yet

This is pretty bad: We’re only in the second week of oral arguments and I’m already posting my predictions only minutes before oral argument is scheduled to start.

No. 02-473 U.S. v. Banks

Full disclosure: I did some work on this case while I was at Goldstein & Howe. In this case, police knocked on Banks’s apartment door, waited 15-20 seconds, then burst in to execute a search warrant. Banks was just getting out of the shower. The question is whether the Ninth Circuit was correct to find that the entry violated the Fourth Amendment. Although I still think this didn’t really deserve cert, now that it’s here, I predict the Court will REVERSE.

No. 02-6683 Castro v. U.S.

This case raises the following question:

    When a U.S. District Court re-characterizes a pro-se federal prisoner's first post conviction motion as a habeas petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, does such re-characterization make the prisoner's subsequent attempt to file a § 2255 petition a "second or successive petition" within the purview of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA)?

Without doing too much thinking on this, I suspect the Court will AFFIRM the 11th Circuit, which held that the District Court’s characterization is controlling.