Holding: Section 2253(c)(3) is a mandatory but nonjurisdictional rule. The failure of a certificate of appealability to “indicate” a constitutional issue does not deprive a court of appeals of jurisdiction to adjudicate the appeal. Moreover, for a state prisoner who does not seek review in a state’s highest court, the judgment becomes “final” for purposes of Section 2244(d)(1)(A) upon “expiration of the time for seeking such review.” The petitioner’s appeal in this case was therefore untimely.
Judgment: Affirmed, 8-1, in an opinion by Justice Sotomayor on January 10, 2012. Justice Scalia filled a dissenting opinion.
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