Carey v. Saffold, 536 U.S. 214, 9 (2002)

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Opinion of the Court

of Cal., 500 F. 2d 1124, 1126 (CA9 1974) (same); 6 B. Witkin & N. Epstein, California Criminal Law 20, p. 540 (3d ed. 2000) (describing general policy that reviewing court will require application to have been made first in lower court). And a prisoner who files a subsequent and similar petition in another lower court (say, another trial court) will likely find consideration of that petition barred as successive. See, e. g., In re Clark, 5 Cal. 4th 750, 767-771, 855 P. 2d 729, 740- 744 (1993). At the same time, a prisoner who files that same petition in a higher, reviewing court will find that he can obtain the basic appellate review that he seeks, even though it is dubbed an "original" petition. See In re Resendiz, 25 Cal. 4th 230, 250, 19 P. 3d 1171, 1184 (2001) (reviewing court grants substantial deference to lower court's factual findings). Thus, typically a prisoner will seek habeas review in a lower court and later seek appellate review in a higher court—just as occurred in this case.

The upshot is that California's collateral review process functions very much like that of other States, but for the fact that its timeliness rule is indeterminate. Other States (with the exception of North Carolina, see Allen v. Mitchell, 276 F. 3d 183, 186 (CA4 2001)), specify precise time limits, such as 30 or 45 days, within which an appeal must be taken, while California applies a general "reasonableness" standard. Still, we do not see how that feature of California law could make a critical difference. As mentioned, AEDPA's tolling rule is designed to protect the principles of "comity, finality, and federalism," by promoting "the exhaustion of state remedies while respecting the interest in the finality of state court judgments." Duncan, supra, at 178 (internal quotation marks omitted). It modifies the 1-year filing rule (a rule that prevents prisoners from delaying their federal filing) in order to give States the opportunity to complete one full round of review, free of federal interference. Inclusion of California's "reasonableness" periods carries out that purpose in the same way, and to the same degree, as does inclu-

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