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Habeas for the Twenty-First CenturyUses, Abuses, and the Future of the Great Writ$
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Nancy J. King and Joseph L. Hoffmann

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226436975

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226436968.001.0001

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: The History of Habeas Review of State Criminal Cases

: The History of Habeas Review of State Criminal Cases

Chapter:
(p.48) Chapter Three: The History of Habeas Review of State Criminal Cases
Source:
Habeas for the Twenty-First Century
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226436968.003.0003

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

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