Yet another opinion from the SCt, this time addressing a situation that is fairly solid in civil law (at least I remember studying something similar way back in law school). It's unfortunate that the State doesn't need to expressly address the Federal claim, but given that the defendant would have lost his claim, it's easy to presume that the State also found the Federal claim to be insufficient
Johnson v. Williams (9-0 Opinion by Justice Alito on February 20, 2013) Summary: The Court reversed and remanded the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In a unanimous decision, written by Justice Alito, the Court held that under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 §2254(d), when a defendant attempts to raise a federal claim, and the state court rules against the defendant, but does not expressly address the federal claim, a federal habeas court must presume, subject to rebuttal, that a federal issue was adjudicated on the merits and rule on granting habeas relief based on the deferential standard of review §2254(d).
By: Landon J. Ascheman, Esq.
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