Goeke v. Branch, 514 U.S. 115, 5 (1995) (per curiam)

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Cite as: 514 U. S. 115 (1995)

Per Curiam

on the State to secure her recapture. The Eighth Circuit opined that a substantive due process violation arose from conduct that was "arbitrary," "conscience-shocking," "oppressive in a constitutional sense," or "interferes with fundamental rights," and that dismissal of Branch's appeal fell within that category. Branch, supra, at 375. These arguments are not based upon existing or well-settled authority.

Respondent and the Court of Appeals rely for the most part on Ortega-Rodriguez v. United States, 507 U. S. 234, 248-249 (1993). There, the Court held, as a matter of its supervisory power to administer the federal court system, that absent some adverse effect of preappeal flight on the appellate process, "the defendant's former fugitive status may well lack the kind of connection to the appellate process that would justify an appellate sanction of dismissal." Id., at 251. The case was decided almost two years after Branch's conviction became final. The rationale of the opinion, moreover, was limited to supervisory powers; it did not suggest that dismissal of a fugitive's appeal implicated constitutional principles. Nor was that suggestion made in any of our earlier cases discussing the fugitive dismissal rule in the federal or state courts. See Estelle v. Dorrough, 420 U. S. 534 (1975); Molinaro v. New Jersey, 396 U. S. 365 (1970); Allen v. Georgia, 166 U. S. 138 (1897); Bohanan v. Nebraska, 125 U. S. 692 (1887); Smith v. United States, 94 U. S. 97 (1876). The Ortega-Rodriguez dissent reinforced this point: "There can be no argument that the fugitive dismissal rule . . . violates the Constitution because a convicted criminal has no constitutional right to an appeal." 507 U. S., at 253 (Rehnquist, C. J., dissenting) (citation omitted).

The Eighth Circuit did rely on Evitts v. Lucey, 469 U. S. 387 (1985), where the Court held that the Due Process Clause, guaranteeing a defendant effective assistance of counsel on his first appeal as of right, did not permit the dismissal of an appeal where the failure to comply with appellate procedure was the result of ineffective assistance of


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