The Supreme Court will hear the arguments in
Banister v. Davis on Wednesday. The issue is "Whether and under what circumstances a timely Rule 59(e) motion should be recharacterized as a second or successive habeas petition under
Gonzalez v. Crosby."
Following the arguments will be tough going for those not well schooled in the nuances of
habeas corpus review. There was a
concise description of the case posted here in September. SCOTUSblog has a
more detailed preview that concludes that
the case could have broad ramifications "because AEDPA limits to two very specific circumstances the available grounds for relief in a second-or-successive application for post-conviction relief by state or federal prisoners. A ruling for Texas, therefore, would dramatically curtail the availability of Rule 59(e) motions in all first federal habeas petitions by state or federal prisoners."