Bloomberg Law
April 5, 2021, 1:35 PM

High Court Takes on Habeas Review Standards in Shackling Case

Jordan S. Rubin
Jordan S. Rubin

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to settle the standard for determining whether constitutional errors are harmless on federal habeas corpus review.

The Michigan case accepted for consideration on Monday, stemming from the unconstitutional shackling of a defendant at trial, asks the high court to sort out how its precedents interact with the habeas statute.

In 1993’s Brecht v. Abrahamson, the court said the test is whether the defendant suffered actual prejudice. But the subsequently passed Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act blocks federal habeas relief from a state court claim unless the state court ruling was contrary to or ...