This morning, a petition for writ of certiorari was filed with the United States Supreme Court on behalf of the State of Rhode Island.
The petition seeks a review of a 1st Circuit Court of Appeals decision which held that the federal government did not need to abide by the terms of the Interstate Agreement on Detainers (IAD), an interstate compact and federal law. The IAD, to which 48 states and the federal government are parties, authorizes any state or federal party to deny a request to transfer a prisoner to another party.
This is a significant states' rights matter. The parties to this important interstate compact rely on the even-handed and fair administration of the detainer system to reliably move prisoners from one state to another. If the uniform rules of this agreement are applicable only to the states and can be disregarded by the federal government, it is in the best interest of all states to know that is the case immediately. That is the primary reason why the State of Rhode Island is pursuing this case before the Supreme Court.
Because of the important states' rights issues at stake, Patricia Millett, a partner with the firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and the head of its Supreme Court litigation group, is handling this case on the state's behalf pro bono, that is, at no cost to the Rhode Island taxpayer.