LOCATION: Superior Court of Los Angeles County, CA
DOCKET NO.: 73-1627
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
CITATION: 420 US 283 (1975)
ARGUED: Dec 11, 1974
DECIDED: Feb 19, 1975
Robert S. Hammer - for petitioner
Stanley Neustadter - for respondent
Facts of the case
Media for Lefkowitz v. NewsomeAudio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 11, 1974 in Lefkowitz v. Newsome
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - February 19, 1975 in Lefkowitz v. Newsome
Warren E. Burger:
The judgment and opinion of the Court in 73-1627, Lefkowitz against Newsome will be announced by Mr. Justice Stewart.
This case is here by way of writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
A New York statute permits a defendant in a criminal case to plead guilty without forfeiting his right to appellate judicial review of certain constitutional claims including the claim that evidence supporting the criminal charge was obtained by the state in a search procedure that violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.
The respondent, Leon Newsome, pleaded guilty in a New York court to a drug offense and then appealed under that statute to the New York appellate courts which ultimately rejected his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment claim and affirmed his conviction.
Newsome then applied to a Federal District Court for a writ of habeas corpus and that Court granted him relief.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court's judgment granting the writ of habeas corpus.
At the behest of the petitioner, Louis Lefkowitz who is the Attorney General of the State of New York, we granted certiorari to consider his claim that federal habeas corpus relief is not available under the circumstances of this case because of the plea of guilty.
For the reasons set out on the written opinion of the Court filed today with the clerk, we hold that when a state law permits a defendant to plead guilty without forfeiting his right to judicial review of specified constitutional issues, the defendant is not foreclosed from pursuing those constitutional claims in a federal habeas corpus proceeding after he has exhausted his state remedies.
Accordingly, the judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is affirmed.
Mr. Justice White has filed a dissenting opinion which the Chief Justice and Mr. Justice Rehnquist have joined.
Mr. Justice Powell has also filed a dissenting opinion which the Chief Justice and Mr. Justice Rehnquist have also joined.
Warren E. Burger:
Thank you Mr. Justice Stewart.