Schriro v. Landrigan:
It's hardly news when the Supreme Court reverses the 9th Circuit in an AEDPA case, as it did today in Schriro v. Landrigan. Still, it's interesting that this is a rare 5-4 opinion authored by Justice Thomas. The issue in the case was whether the district court had abused its discretion in denying Landrigan a hearing on whether his Sixth Amendment rights had been violated at trial, and specifically, whether Landrigan had properly waived his right to have his attorney put on mitigating evidence when he had blocked his attorney from doing so at trial. A majority of the Court concludes he did and should get no hearing; four Justices concludes that he didn't and merits one.