Habeas corpus law has not remained static during the half century since Judge Friendly wrote, but neither has it provided satisfactory answers to the problems that he highlighted in his article. Unfortunately, many of the changes—well intended as they were by the enactors and implementers— have done nothing but create endless hurdles, loops, and traps for potential users. Enormous resources are poured into this elusive remedy. The rule of law is not well served when people are told that they have a remedy, but in fact they do not. Far better to have truth-in-labeling, so that the cases that deserve collateral review get it, and those that do not are more clearly identified from the outset and quickly dismissed. This is the goal that Judge Friendly set for himself in his article, but unfortunately it is not one that we have yet attained. Whether that is because of flaws in his suggestions, or failures to adopt them, is the subject of this Article. The answer, I suggest, is a little of both: some of his suggestions need further refinement, and others simply need to be implemented more vigorously. In the end, a remarkable number of Judge Friendly’s observations still apply to today’s writ, and thus many of his prescriptions remain well worth legislative attention.



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