Cite as: 529 U. S. 473 (2000)
Opinion of the Court
"(1) Unless a circuit justice or judge issues a certificate of appealability, an appeal may not be taken to the court of appeals from—
"(A) the final order in a habeas corpus proceeding in which the detention complained of arises out of process issued by a State court; or
"(B) the final order in a proceeding under section 2255.
"(2) A certificate of appealability may issue under paragraph (1) only if the applicant has made a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right.
"(3) The certificate of appealability under paragraph (1) shall indicate which specific issue or issues satisfy the showing required by paragraph (2)." 28 U. S. C. § 2253(c) (1994 ed., Supp. III).
The issue we consider at the outset is whether the pre- or post-AEDPA version of § 2253 controls Slack's right to appeal. In Lindh v. Murphy, 521 U. S. 320 (1997), the Court held that AEDPA's amendments to 28 U. S. C. § 2254, the statute governing entitlement to habeas relief in the district court, applied to cases filed after AEDPA's effective date. 521 U. S., at 327. Slack contends that Lindh means § 2253(c) does not apply to him because his case was commenced in the District Court pre-AEDPA. That position is incorrect. For purposes of implementing the holding in Lindh, it must be recognized that § 2254 is directed to proceedings in the district courts while § 2253 is directed to proceedings in the appellate courts. Just as § 2254 applies to cases filed in the trial court post-AEDPA, § 2253 applies to appellate proceedings initiated post-AEDPA. True, Lindh requires a court of appeals to apply pre-AEDPA law in reviewing the trial court's ruling, for cases commenced there pre-AEDPA; but post-AEDPA law governs the right to appeal in cases such as the one now before us.
While an appeal is a continuation of the litigation started in the trial court, it is a distinct step. Hohn v. United
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