Thursday, June 24, 2010
This raises an interesting issue. Assume that the New York State Court of Appeals hears this case and agrees with the Third Department. All state courts will be bound by this precedent. But then, if the case goes to federal habeas review, the federal courts will be bound by the Second Circuit decision. In questions of constitutional law, the Second Circuit would not be bound by the decision of the New York State Court of Appeals. So the two court systems would seem to be directly competing on this matter, with the federal system winning in the end. So was the Third Department correct in finding that it was not bound by the Second Circuit's interpretation of federal constitutional law?