Part of the intro:
Unlike its sister circuits, the Eleventh Circuit has interpreted the relevant statutes to mandate an authorization decision within 30 days, leaving the court little time to consider a complex inmate application. In re Williams, 898 F. 3d 1098, 1102 (2018) (Wilson, J., concurring). Under Eleventh Circuit rules, the applicant must confine his or her entire legal argument to a form on which “[f]ew prisoners manage to squeeze more than 100 words.” 918 F. 3d 1174, 1198 (2019) (Wilson, J., dissenting from denial of reh’g en banc). That limited form is the only submission that the court typically accepts: The Government seemingly “never files a responsive pleading,” and the court never grants oral argument. Ibid. Surprisingly still, this perfunctory process affects future claimants too, and not only those who find themselves in the second or successive petition posture. The Eleventh Circuit has published several of its orders denying permission to file a second or successive petition, and determined that all future litigants (including those on direct appeal) are bound to the holdings of these orders unless and until an en banc Eleventh Circuit or this Court says otherwise. See 909 F. 3d 335, 346 (2018). These factors make out a troubling tableau indeed. Most importantly, they raise a question whether the Eleventh Circuit’s process is consistent with due process. The Eleventh Circuit has not yet appeared to address a procedural due process claim head on, so I will leave it to that court to consider the issue in the first instance in an appropriate case. In the meantime, nothing prevents the Eleventh Circuit from reconsidering its practices to make them fairer, more transparent, and more deliberative.Here's some coverage by NLJ:
In the Supreme Court petition denied Monday, Michael St. Hubert had sought authorization from the circuit court, as required by federal law, to file a second or successive habeas petition. To be successful, the prisoner must show that the habeas petition will be based either on new evidence sufficient to establish that no reasonable fact-finder would have found the defendant guilty or on a new constitutional rule made retroactive on collateral review.Sotomayor, contrasting the Eleventh to other circuits, said the Eleventh publishes "far more" denials of authorization (45 from 2013-2018 compared to 80 from all circuits combined); mandates a decision within 30 days; requires prisoners to state their legal argument on a form with space for fewer than 100 words; does not grant oral argument in noncapital cases; generally does not require briefs from the prisoner or government, and often decides the merits of the habeas claims when the circuit court is only to decide whether the prisoner's application meets the authorization requirements."Surprisingly still," Sotomayor wrote, the circuit court has published a number of authorization denials stating that all future litigants, even those on direct appeal, are bound by the orders until overruled by the en banc court or the Supreme Court.In opposing review, U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco said some members of the circuit court "expressed concerns" about publishing and giving precedential weight to certain denials of authorization."Yet, in the course of those opinions, no member of the court addressed the possible application of the Due Process Clause," Francisco told the justices. "Given the court of appeals’ active internal deliberation about the proper treatment of published orders on applications for leave to file second or successive Section 2255 motions, that court should decide in the first instance whether or to what extent due process principles should affect the court’s approach."Sotomayor ultimately agreed with the government's recommendation. "The Eleventh Circuit has not yet appeared to address a procedural due process claim head on, so I will leave it to that court to consider the issue in the first instance in an appropriate case," Sotomayor wrote. "In the meantime, nothing prevents the Eleventh Circuit from reconsidering its practices to make them fairer, more transparent, and more deliberative."