Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Trevino v. Thaler

Attorney: ineffective ­assistance-of-trial-counsel: in Martinez v. Ryan, 566 U. S. 1, ___, this Court held that “a procedural default will not bar a federal habeas court from hearing a substantial claim of ineffective assistance at trial if, in the State’s initial-review collateral proceeding, there was no counsel or counsel in that pro­ceeding was ineffective.”; where, as here, a State’s procedural framework, by reason of its design and operation, makes it highly unlikely in a typical case that a defendant will have a meaningful opportunity to raise an ineffective ­assistance-of-trial-counsel claim on direct appeal, the exception rec­ognized in Martinez applies; (…) the Texas courts’ own well-supported determi­nation that collateral review normally is the preferred procedural route for raising an ineffective-assistance-of-trial-counsel claim (U.S. S. Ct., 28.05.13, Trevino v. Thaler, J. Breyer).

Avocat: violation du devoir de diligence de l’avocat dans le procès pénal en première instance étatique : peu importe que le condamné ne se plaigne d’une assistance ineffective de son avocat que devant la cour fédérale de première instance, sans s’en être prévalu en procédure d’appel étatique contre le jugement étatique de première instance : le condamné peut soulever ce moyen pour la première fois dans la procédure fédérale collatérale de l’habeas, même si le droit de l’état permet de soulever dit moyen dans la procédure d’appel directe devant le système des cours de l’état.

McQuiggin v. Perkins

Innocence: actual innocence, if proved, serves as a gateway through which a petitioner may pass whether the impediment is a procedural bar, as it was in Schlup v. Delo, 513 U. S. 298, and House v. Bell, 547 U. S. 518, or expiration of the AEDPA statute of limitations, as in this case; the exception applies to a severely confined category: cases in which new evidence shows “it is more likely than not that ‘no reasonable juror’ would have convicted the petitioner,” Schlup, 513 U. S., at 329; rationale of ensuring “that federal constitutional errors do not result in the incarceration of innocent persons.” Herrera, 506 U. S., at 404; under Schlup’s demanding standard, the gateway should open only when a petition presents "evidence of innocence so strong that a court cannot have confidence in the outcome of the trial unless the court is also satisfied that the trial was free of nonharmless constitutional error.” 513 U. S., at 316 (U.S. S. Ct., 28.05.13, McQuiggin v. Perkins, J. Ginsburg).

Innocence : la preuve de l'innocence effective peut être apportée et conduire à l'annulation de la condamnation, même dans les situations ou les règles de procédure empêchent toute révision, et même en cas d'expiration d'un délai (ici celui de l'AEDPA). L'offre de la preuve de l'innocence sera reçue si la preuve est nouvelle et s'il est plus vraisemblable qu'invraisemblable qu'un jury raisonnable n'aurait pas prononcé de condamnation. Elle ne sera pas reçue si la cour estime que la procédure ayant abouti à la condamnation n'était pas entachée d'erreurs constitutionnelles dommageables.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Arlington v. FCC

Interpretation of a statutory ambiguity: Courts must apply the Chevron framework to an agency’s inter­pretation of a statutory ambiguity that concerns the scope of the agency’s statutory authority (i.e., its jurisdiction); when a court reviews an agency’s interpretation of a statute it administers, the question is always, simply, whether the agency has stayed within the bounds of its statutory authority. There is no dis­tinction between an agency’s “jurisdictional” and “nonjurisdictional” interpretations. The “jurisdictional-nonjurisdictional” line is mean­ingful in the judicial context because Congress has the power to tell the courts what classes of cases they may decide—that is, to define their jurisdiction—but not to prescribe how they decide those cases. But for agencies charged with administering congressional statutes, both their power to act and how they are to act is authoritatively pre­scribed by Congress, so that when they act improperly, no less than when they act beyond their jurisdiction, what they do is ultra vires. Because the question is always whether the agency has gone beyond what Congress has permitted it to do, there is no principled basis for carving out an arbitrary subset of “jurisdictional” questions from the Chevron framework. See, e.g., National Cable & Telecommunications Assn., Inc. v. Gulf Power Co., 534 U. S. 327, 333, 339; this Court has consistently afforded Chevron deference to agen­cies’ constructions of the scope of their own jurisdiction. See, e.g., Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. Schor, 478 U. S. 833; United States v. Eurodif S. A., 555 U. S. 305, 316. Chevron applies to statutes designed to curtail the scope of agency discretion, see Chem­ical Mfrs. Assn. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 470 U. S. 116, 123, and even where concerns about agency self-aggrandizement are at their apogee—i.e., where an agency’s expansive construction of the extent of its own power would have wrought a fundamental change in the regulatory scheme, see FDA v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., 529 U. S. 120, 132 (U.S. S. Ct., 20.05.13, Arlington v. FCC, J. Scalia).

Administration fédérale : interprétation d'une loi fédérale ambigüe : la jurisprudence Chevron et la déférence avec laquelle elle examine si une réglementation administrative ou une décision est conforme à sa base légale, soit conforme à la loi fédérale attributive de pouvoir de décision, s'applique également dans le cadre de l'interprétation par l'administration d'une loi fédérale, donc passée par le Congrès fédéral, qui précise le cadre des compétences d'une administration particulière.

Sebelius v. Cloer

Attorney's fees: provided by a statute (in the context of vaccine injury): The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (NCVIA or Act) es­tablished a no-fault compensation system to stabilize the vaccine market and expedite compensation to injured parties; a court may award attorney’s fees and costs “incurred by a claimant in any proceeding on” an unsuccessful “petition filed under section 300aa–11,” if that petition “was brought in good faith and there was a reasonable basis for the claim for which the petition was brought,” §300aa–15(e)(1); an untimely NCVIA petition may qualify for an award of attor­ney’s fees if it is filed in good faith and there is a reasonable basis for its claim; so long as it was brought in good faith and with a reasonable basis, it is eligible for an award of attorney’s fees, even if it is ultimately unsuccessful. Had Congress intended otherwise, it could have easily limited fee awards to timely petitions; the Government’s contrary position is also inconsistent with the fees provision’s purpose, which was to avoid “limiting petitioners’ ability to obtain qualified assistance” by making awards available for “non-prevailing, good-faith claims.” H. R. Rep. No. 99–908, pt. 1, p. 22 (U.S. S. Ct., 20.05.13, Sebelius v. Cloer, J. Sotomayor).

Honoraires d'avocat : ici dans le contexte d'un dommage à la santé résultant d'une vaccination. Une procédure d'indemnisation spéciale est prévue par une loi fédérale réglant cette matière. Cette loi prévoit aussi que la partie plaignante peut voir ses frais de justice et ses honoraires d'avocat pris en charge même si elle perd son procès, pour autant qu'elle ait procédé de bonne foi et que la demande en justice était fondée sur des motifs raisonnables. Cette réglementation des frais et honoraires d'avocat s'applique également dans le cas où l'action de la partie plaignante est tardive.

PPL Corp. v. Commissioner

Tax: tax credit: Internal Revenue Code §901(b)(1), which states that any “income, war profits, and excess profits taxes” paid overseas are creditable against U. S. income taxes; in 1997, the United Kingdom (U. K.), newly under Labour Party rule, imposed a one-time “windfall tax” on 32 U. K. companies privatized between 1984 and 1996 by the Conservative government. The com­panies had been sold to private parties through an initial sale of shares, known as a “flotation.” Some of the companies were required to continue providing services for a fixed period at the same rates they had offered under government control. Many of those companies became dramatically more efficient and earned substantial profits in the process. Petitioner PPL Corporation (PPL), part owner of a privatized U. K. company subject to the windfall tax, claimed a credit for its share of the bill in its 1997 federal income-tax return; the U. K. tax is creditable under §901; foreign tax creditability depends not on the way a foreign Government characterizes its tax but on whether the tax, if enacted in the U. S., would be an income, war profits, or excess prof­its tax; the U. K. windfall tax’s predominant character is that of an ex­cess profits tax, a category of income tax in the U. S. sense; the windfall tax is nothing more than a tax on actual profits above a threshold (U.S.S.Ct., 20.05.13, PPL Corp. v. Commissioner, J. Thomas, unanimous).

Crédit d'impôts : les impôts sur le revenu au sens large payés à l'étranger peuvent être déduits de l'impôt U.S. sur le revenu. Savoir si un impôt payé à l'étranger peut être ainsi déduit se détermine en se demandant comment un tel impôt étranger serait caractérisé aux U.S. si une loi U.S. devait être promulguée à ce sujet. Le cas d'espèce (imposition suite aux privatisations au Royaume Uni) permet d'obtenir un crédit d'impôt.