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Abstract

Armentero v. INS, 340 F.3d 1058 (9th Cir. 2003).

Padilla v. Rumsfeld, 352 F.3d 695 (2d Cir. 2003).

In addition to its novel Constitutional issues, Padilla v. Rumsfeld raises profound procedural questions that will have implications for all federal habeas corpus law. Thy case's central procedural dilemma-the question of who is the proper respondent to a federal habeas petition-has been largely ignored by the Supreme Court since the early 1970s and has stimulated a growing divergence among the federal circuits. The Second Circuit's Padilla decision, should it stand unquestioned, would further divide the circuits. The Supreme Court's decision in Padilla could become one of the leading cases in habeas law, in large part because of its response to procedural questions. This note argues that the Supreme Court should affirm the more expansive views of the proper respondent adopted by the Second Circuit. As a matter of equity, habeas petitioners such as Padilla should be allowed to name a variety of respondents, and thereby have access to more than one forum for their hearing.

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