Cite as: 536 U. S. 214 (2002)
Opinion of the Court
California. Every Court of Appeals to consider the argument has rejected it. Melancon v. Kaylo, 259 F. 3d 401, 406 (CA5 2001); Payton v. Brigano, 256 F. 3d 405, 408 (CA6 2001); Hizbullahankhamon v. Walker, 255 F. 3d 65, 72 (CA2 2001); Nyland v. Moore, 216 F. 3d 1264, 1267 (CA11 2000); Swartz v. Meyers, 204 F. 3d 417, 421-422 (CA3 2000); Taylor v. Lee, 186 F. 3d 557, 560-561 (CA4 1999); Nino v. Galaza, 183 F. 3d 1003, 1005 (CA9 1999); Barnett v. LeMaster, 167 F. 3d 1321, 1323 (CA10 1999). Like these courts, we answer the first question in the affirmative.
Having answered the necessarily predicate question of how the tolling provision ordinarily treats applications for state collateral review in typical "appeal" States, we turn to the question whether this rule applies in California. California's collateral review system differs from that of other States in that it does not require, technically speaking, appellate review of a lower court determination. Instead it contemplates that a prisoner will file a new "original" habeas petition. And it determines the timeliness of each filing according to a "reasonableness" standard. These differences, it is argued, require treating California differently from "ap-peal" States, in particular by not counting a petition as "pending" during the interval between a lower court's determination and filing of another petition in a higher court. See, e. g., Brief for Criminal Justice Legal Foundation as Amicus Curiae 5-18.
California's "original writ" system, however, is not as special in practice as its terminology might suggest. As interpreted by the courts, California's habeas rules lead a prisoner ordinarily to file a petition in a lower court first. In re Ramirez, 89 Cal. App. 4th 1312, 1316, 108 Cal. Rptr. 2d 229, 232 (2001) (appellate court "has discretion to refuse to issue the writ . . . on the ground that application has not [first] been made . . . in a lower court"); Harris v. Superior Court
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