Edwards v. Carpenter, 529 U.S. 446, 2 (2000)

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Cite as: 529 U. S. 446 (2000)


default doctrine and its attendant "cause and prejudice" standard are grounded in comity and federalism concerns, Coleman v. Thompson, 501 U. S. 722, 730, and apply whether the default occurred at trial, on appeal, or on state collateral attack, Murray v. Carrier, 477 U. S. 478, 490-492. Thus, a prisoner must demonstrate cause for his state-court default of any federal claim, and prejudice therefrom, before the federal habeas court will consider that claim's merits. 501 U. S., at 750. Counsel's ineffectiveness in failing properly to preserve a claim for state-court review will suffice as cause, but only if that ineffectiveness itself constitutes an independent constitutional claim. Carrier, supra, at 488-499. The comity and federalism principles underlying the doctrine of exhaustion of state remedies require an ineffective-assistance claim to be presented to the state courts as an independent claim before it may be used to establish cause for a procedural default. Carrier, supra, at 489. The doctrine's purposes would be frustrated if federal review were available to a prisoner who had presented his claim in state court, but in such a manner that the state court could not, under its procedural rules, have entertained it. Pp. 450-454.

163 F. 3d 938, reversed and remanded.

Scalia, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Rehnquist, C. J., and O'Connor, Kennedy, Souter, Thomas, and Ginsburg, JJ., joined. Breyer, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, in which Stevens, J., joined, post, p. 454.

Edward B. Foley, State Solicitor of Ohio, argued the cause for petitioner. With him on the briefs were Betty D. Montgomery, Attorney General, David M. Gormley, and Stephen P. Carney. J. Joseph Bodine, Jr., argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were David H. Bodiker, Laurence E. Komp, and Angela Wilson Miller.*

*A brief of amici curiae urging reversal was filed for the State of Texas et al. by John Cornyn, Attorney General of Texas, Andy Taylor, First Assistant Attorney General, Shane Phelps, Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice, Gregory S. Coleman, Solicitor General, Idolina G. McCullough, Assistant Solicitor General, Michael E. McLachlan, Solicitor General of Colorado, and John M. Bailey, Chief State's Attorney of Connecticut, and by the Attorneys General for their respective States as follows: Bill Pryor of Alabama, Bruce M. Botelho of Alaska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Janet Napolitano of Arizona, Bill Lockyer of California, Ken


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