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in an 8-1 ruling, the justices reversed a 5th Circuit ruling denying a certificate of appealability to a criminal defendant, remanding the case on the ground that the circuit court should have issued a certificate to review the denial of the defendant’s petition for habeas relief. Miller-El v. Cockrell No. 01-7662. The court said that the defendant had made a substantial showing of denial of a constitutional right on his claim that the state had been racially motivated in its use of peremptory challenges to potential jurors at his trial. Kennedy’s opinion was joined by Rehnquist, Stevens, O’Connor, Scalia, Souter, Ginsburg and Breyer. Thomas filed a dissenting opinion.

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