Cert petition challenges military appellate defense shops’ failure to represent clients before the Supremes
The last several days, we’ve been having a discussion on CAAFlog about military appellate defense shops’ responsibilities when their clients want to seek cert from the Supremes. Given the heavy concentration of current and former appellate defense counsel among CAAFlog’s writers and readers, it’s a topic the resurfaces from time to time. See, e.g., here, here, here, and here.
You know that old expression about everyone complaining about the weather but no one ever doing anything about it? Well LT Darrin W.S. MacKinnon, JAGC, USNR, has just tried to do something about the problem of military appellate defense counsel declining to file cert petitions in apparently non-frivolous cases. Here’s the QP in Ryan v. United States, a cert petition that I understand has been filed at, but not yet docketed by, the Supreme Court:
Whether a military defense counsel’s refusal to honor a military servicemember’s request to appeal his case to the Supreme Court effectively denies him that right under the UCMJ, and, whether that refusal to appeal constitutes ineffective assistance of counsel?
The full text of the petition, which is well worth reading, is here.