Clay v. United States, 537 U.S. 522, 9 (2003)

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Opinion of the Court

a tighter time constraint than the petitioner governed by 2244(d)(1)(A). Russello concerned the meaning of a provision in the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U. S. C. 1961 et seq., that directed forfeiture to the United States of "any interest [a convicted defendant] has acquired . . . in violation of [the Act]." 1963(a)(1). The petitioner in Russello urged a narrow construction of the unqualified words "any interest . . . acquired." Rejecting that argument, we observed that a succeeding subsection, 1963(a)(2), reached "any interest in . . . any enterprise" the defendant conducted in violation of RICO's proscriptions. (Internal quotation marks omitted.) At that point, we referred to the maxim invoked by amicus. See supra, at 528. The qualifying words "in . . . any enterprise" narrowed 1963(a)(2), but in no way affected 1963(a)(1). The comparison of the two subsections, we said, "fortified" the broad construction we approved for the unmodified words "any interest . . . acquired." Russello, 464 U. S., at 22-23 (internal quotation marks omitted); see id., at 23 ("Had Congress intended to restrict 1963(a)(1) to an interest in an enterprise, it presumably would have done so expressly as it did in the immediately following subsection (a)(2).").

Far from supporting the Seventh Circuit's constricted reading of 2255, ¶ 6(1), Russello's reasoning tends in Clay's favor. An unqualified term—here "becomes final"—Russello indicates, calls for a reading surely no less broad than a pinpointed one—here, 2244(d)(1)(A)'s specification "became final by the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for seeking such review."

Moreover, as Clay and the Government urge, see Brief for Petitioner 22; Reply Brief for United States 7-8, one can readily comprehend why Congress might have found it appropriate to spell out the meaning of "final" in 2244(d)(1)(A) but not in 2255. Section 2244(d)(1) governs petitions by state prisoners. In that context, a bare reference to "be-came final" might have suggested that finality assessments

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