|Heck v. Humphrey (93-6188), 512 U.S. 477 (1994). |
[ Scalia ]
[ Thomas ]
[ Souter ]
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
ROY HECK v. JAMES HUMPHREY et al.
on writ of certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the seventh circuit
I write separately to note that it is we who have put §1983 and the habeas statute on what Justice Souter appropriately terms a "collision course." Post, at 1. It has long been recognized that we have expanded the prerogative writ of habeas corpus and §1983 far beyond the limited scope either was originally intended to have. Cf., e. g., Wright v. West, 505 U. S. ___, ___ (1992) (opinion of Thomas, J.) (habeas); Golden State Tran sit Corp. v. Los Angeles, 493 U.S. 103, 117 (1989) (Kennedy, J., dissenting) (§1983). Expanding the two historic statutes brought them squarely into conflict in the context of suits by state prisoners, as we made clear in Preiser.
Given that the Court created the tension between the two statutes, it is proper for the Court to devise limitations aimed at ameliorating the conflict, provided that it does so in a principled fashion. Cf. Malley v. Briggs, 475 U.S. 335, 342 (1986). Because the Court today limits the scope of §1983 in a manner consistent both with the federalism concerns undergirding the explicit exhaustion requirement of the habeas statute, post, at 6, and with the state of the common law at the time §1983 was enacted, ante, at 7-9, I join the Court's opinion.