No. 10-895.

132 S.Ct. 641 (2012)

181 L.Ed.2d 619

Rafael Arriaza GONZALEZ, Petitioner v. Rick THALER, Director, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Division.

Supreme Court of United States.

Decided January 10, 2012.

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

Patricia A. Millett , Washington, DC, for Petitioner.

Jonathan F. Mitchell , Solicitor General, Austin, TX, for Respondent.

Ann O'Connell , for the United States as amicus curiae, by special leave of the Court, supporting the Respondent.

Amit Kurlekar , Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP, San Francisco, CA, John B. Capehart , Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP, Dallas, TX, Patricia A. Millett , Counsel of Record, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP, Washington, DC, J. Carl Cecere , Hankinson Levinger LLP, Dallas, TX, for Petitioner.

Greg Abbott , Attorney General of Texas, Daniel T. Hodge , First Assistant Attorney General, Don Clemmer , Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice, Edward L. Marshall , Chief, Postconviction Litigation Division, Jonathan F. Mitchell , Solicitor General, Counsel of Record, James P. Sullivan , Arthur C. D'Andrea , Assistant Solicitors General, Office of the Attorney General, Austin, TX, for Respondent.

Justice SOTOMAYOR delivered the opinion of the Court.

This case interprets two provisions of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA). The first, 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c), provides that a habeas petitioner must obtain a certificate of appealability (COA) to appeal a federal district court's final order in a habeas proceeding. § 2253(c)(1). The COA may issue only if the petitioner has made a "substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional...


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