: The History of Habeas Review of State Criminal Cases

in Habeas for the Twenty-First Century

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780226436975
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226436968 | DOI:
: The History of Habeas Review of State Criminal Cases

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This chapter investigates the development of habeas review of state convictions and sentences in noncapital cases under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The Habeas Corpus Act of 1867 expanded the availability of the writ in response to a major political and social crisis that created a serious risk of abuse of the government's power to detain. For state prisoners, Congress preserved traditional habeas review as authorized by the 1867 act, but enacted a new statute, 28 U.S.C. § 2254, that introduced revised rules of habeas procedure. Habeas became a crucial federal weapon in a new war of federalism during the Warren Court era. Justice William Rehnquist's view—that habeas should be limited to certain fundamental claims—did not prevail. The war of federalism that raged in the 1960s has ended, but the habeas law designed to fight it still stands, devoid of meaning.

Keywords: habeas review; Habeas Corpus Act; state convictions; state sentences; federalism; Warren Court era; Justice William Rehnquist

Chapter.  7469 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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