April 1, 2013 United States Supreme Court opinion

Marshall v Rodgers

Rodgers asked to represent himself at trial and field a post trial motion for counsel to assist him with his new trial motion. He did not give any reasons in support for the motion. The trial court denied his motion and the state appeals court affirmed. The district court denied his habeas petition. The 9th Circuit surveyed the authority from other circuits, ruled that the motion should have been granted and granted habeas relief. The court reversed per curium holding that only United states Supreme Court precedent can be used in analyzing whether a state court decision complied with federal law, surveying other circuits is not allowed in this context and there is no precedent requiring states to automatically grant post trial motions for appointed counsel rather than use a totality of the circumstances approach as the state court did here.

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