Jimenez v. Quarterman - Oral Argument - November 04, 2008

Jimenez v. Quarterman

Media for Jimenez v. Quarterman

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - January 13, 2009 in Jimenez v. Quarterman

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 04, 2008 in Jimenez v. Quarterman

John G. Roberts, Jr.:

We will hear argument next in Case 07-6984, Jimenez v. Quarterman.

Mr. Goldstein.

Thomas C. Goldstein:

Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court: When the Texas courts in this case reinstated the Petitioner's direct appeal, the Texas Court of Appeals decided that appeal like it would decide any other case on direct review.

We filed a petition for discretionary review in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, which was denied, and it was considered like any other appeal would be.

The question presented by this case is whether the final judgment that indisputably results from those rulings triggers the one-year statute of limitations to file a Federal habeas corpus application.

The statute that governs that question is reproduced in the blue brief at page 1.

Section 2244(d)( 1)(A) prescribes

"a 1-year period of limitation that shall apply to an application for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of the State court. "

"The limitation period shall run from the latest of. "

--and it identifies four dates, the first of which is

"the date on which the judgment became final by the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of time for seeking such review. "

Anthony M. Kennedy:

And you don't think you need to go beyond (A) to resolve the case?

Thomas C. Goldstein:

That's right, Justice Kennedy.

Subsection (A) resolves this case by its plain terms.

Now, the Fifth Circuit decided this case -- this issue, I'm sorry -- in 2004 in a case called Salinas, and it thought that the factual scenario of the case was more logically covered by subsection (d)( 2) of the statute, which is on page 2 of the blue brief.

And that provision is the tolling provision, and it says:

"The time during which a properly filed application for State post-conviction or other collateral review with respect to the pertinent judgment or claim is pending shall not be counted toward any period of limitation under the subsection. "

And the Fifth Circuit's view in that Salinas case was that the better way of looking at this is that when the State post-conviction court awarded relief of further direct review, all of that should be regarded as part of the post-conviction process.

But four years after -- three years after the Fifth Circuit decided Salinas, this Court decided Lawrence v. Florida, and Lawrence disposes of the Fifth Circuit's logic in Salinas, because Lawrence says that when the post-conviction court, here the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, issues its mandate the application for post-conviction review is no longer pending.

And so there isn't any reason to believe that Congress thought this factual scenario was covered by the tolling provisions of (d)( 2).

John G. Roberts, Jr.:

So, does your position depend upon the proposition that we are not free to consider sort of a second direct appeal as part of the collateral review process?

Thomas C. Goldstein:

It doesn't depend on it, Mr. Chief Justice.

We don't have to reach that question because, as I have said in answer to Justice Kennedy's question, you can resolve this under (d)( 1).

But I was just trying to explain why the Fifth Circuit, which struggled with how to handle this scenario, was wrong in thinking it was governed by the tolling provision.

John G. Roberts, Jr.:

I guess it doesn't -- or does it really make a difference?

I mean, if you view the direct appeal that is the result of the collateral review process as part of the collateral review process, that time is tolled.

And if you take your view and regard it as not final to trigger the process until you have another final decision, it kind of leads to the same result, doesn't it?

Thomas C. Goldstein:

In many cases, but not all, including this one.

The difference is that if you regard this as governed by tolling, that the second -- what we will call for purposes of the argument, just so we know, the second appeal, so the appeal that's granted by the post-conviction report, if you regard the proper way of reading 2244 to be you have to regard that as being tolled and the start date is the dismissal of the original appeal, if the State Petitioner seeks post-conviction review more than one year after the dismissal of the first appeal, his Federal time is done.

So, this--