Lafler v. Cooper and AEDPA
King, Nancy J., 1958-
The Supreme Court in Missouri v. Frye1 and Lafler v. Cooper2 broke new ground by holding for the first time that a defendant’s right to the effective assistance of counsel under the Sixth Amendment can be violated by the loss of a favorable plea deal. Less noted, but also worthy of attention, are Lafler’s implications for federal habeas law. Four Justices protested that the Lafler decision violated the federal habeas statute. At the least, the decision expanded habeas review in unexpected ways. Lafler presented the Supreme Court with an unusual opportunity to declare new doctrine on habeas review.