United States v. Washington et al.

Certiorari To The United States Court Of Appeals For The Ninth Circuit

No. 21–404. Argued April 18, 2022—Decided June 21, 2022

In 2018, Washington enacted a workers’ compensation law that applied only to certain workers at a federal facility in the State who were “engaged in the performance of work, either directly or indirectly, for the United States.” Wash. Rev. Code §51.32.187(1)(b). The facility, known as the Hanford site, was once used by the Federal Government to develop and produce nuclear weapons, and is now undergoing a complex decontamination process. Most workers involved in this cleanup process are federal contract workers—people employed by private companies under contract with the Federal Government. A smaller number of workers involved in the cleanup include State employees, private employees, and federal employees who work directly for the Federal Government. As compared to Washington’s general workers’ compensation scheme, the law makes it easier for federal contract workers at Hanford to establish their entitlement to workers’ compensation, thus increasing workers’ compensation costs for the Federal Government.

   The United States brought suit against Washington, arguing that Washington’s law violates the Supremacy Clause by discriminating against the Federal Government. The District Court concluded that the law was constitutional because it fell within the scope of a federal waiver of immunity contained in 40 U. S. C. §3172. The Ninth Circuit affirmed.

Held: Washington’s law facially discriminates against the Federal Government and its contractors. Because §3172 does not clearly and unambiguously waive the Federal Government’s immunity from discriminatory state laws, Washington’s law is unconstitutional under the Supremacy Clause. Pp. 3–11.

  (a) This case is not moot. After the Court granted certiorari, Washington enacted a new statute which changed the scope of the original law such that the workers’ compensation scheme no longer applied exclusively to Hanford site workers who work for the United States. But a case is not moot unless it is impossible for the Court to grant any effectual relief. Mission Product Holdings, Inc. v. Tempnology, LLC, 587 U. S. ___, ___. The United States asserts that a ruling in its favor will allow it to recoup or to avoid paying millions of dollars in workers’ compensation claims. Washington disagrees, arguing that the new statute applies retroactively and is broad enough to encompass any claim filed under the earlier law. But it is not the Court’s practice to interpret statutes in the first instance, Zivotofsky v. Clinton, 566 U. S. 189, 201, nor does the Court know how Washington’s state courts will interpret the new law. It is thus not impossible for the United States to recover money if the Court rules in its favor, and the case is not moot. Pp. 3–4.

  (b) Since McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat. 316, this Court has interpreted the Supremacy Clause as prohibiting States from interfering with or controlling the operations of the Federal Government. This constitutional doctrine—often called the intergovernmental immunity doctrine—has evolved to bar state laws that either regulate the United States directly or discriminate against the Federal Government or its contractors. A state law discriminates against the Federal Government or its contractors if it “single[s them] out” for less favorable “treatment,” Washington v. United States, 460 U. S. 536, 546, or if it regulates them unfavorably on some basis related to their governmental “status,” North Dakota v. United States, 495 U. S. 423, 438 (plurality opinion).

  Washington’s law violates these principles by singling out the Federal Government for unfavorable treatment. The law explicitly treats federal workers differently than state or private workers, and imposes costs upon the Federal Government that state and private entities do not bear. The law thus violates the Supremacy Clause unless Congress has consented to such regulation through waiver. Pp. 4–6.

  (c) Congress waives the Federal Government’s immunity “only when and to the extent there is a clear congressional mandate.” Hancock v. Train, 426 U. S. 167, 179. Washington argues that Congress has waived federal immunity from state workers’ compensation laws on federal lands and projects through §3172(a). Section 3172(a) says that “[t]he state authority charged with enforcing and requiring compliance with the state workers’ compensation laws . . . may apply [those] laws to all land and premises in the State which the Federal Government owns,” as well as “to all projects, buildings, constructions, improvements, and property in the State and belonging to the Government, in the same way and to the same extent as if the premises were under the exclusive jurisdiction of the State.” Washington reads the statute’s language broadly to effectuate a complete waiver of intergovernmental immunity as to all workers’ compensation laws on federal lands and projects, including workers’ compensation laws that discriminate against the Federal Government. But one can reasonably read the statute as containing a narrower waiver of immunity, namely, as only authorizing a State to extend its generally applicable state workers’ compensation laws to federal lands and projects within the State. Section 3172’s waiver thus does not “clear[ly] and unambiguous[ly]” authorize a State to enact a discriminatory law that facially singles out the Federal Government for unfavorable treatment. Goodyear Atomic Corp. v. Miller, 486 U. S. 174, 180. Pp. 6–9.

  (d) Washington’s arguments to the contrary are unconvincing. Washington emphasizes that the waiver statute allows a State to apply its workers’ compensation laws to federal premises “as if the premises were under the exclusive jurisdiction of the State.” §3172(a). But those words follow the phrase “in the same way and to the same extent” and, read together, the language could plausibly be interpreted to allow only the extension of generally applicable workers’ compensation laws to federal premises. The statute thus does not clearly and unambiguously permit the discrimination contained in Washington’s “federal workers only” law. Washington next points to other congressional waivers of intergovernmental immunity that explicitly maintain the constitutional prohibition on discriminatory state laws. But the fact that Congress more explicitly preserved the immunity in other contexts does not mean that Congress clearly waived it in §3172(a). Finally, Washington relies on Goodyear Atomic, but that decision said nothing about laws—such as the one here—that explicitly discriminate against the Federal Government. If anything, statements from Goodyear Atomic tend to support, not undermine, the Court’s decision today. Pp. 9–11.

994 F. 3d 994, reversed and remanded.

 Breyer, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.


Certiorari To The United States Court Of Appeals For The Sixth Circuit

No. 20–1641. Argued March 1, 2022—Decided June 21, 2022

Petitioner Marietta Memorial Hospital Employee Health Benefit Plan is an employer-sponsored group health plan that offers all of its participants the same limited coverage for outpatient dialysis. Respondent DaVita—a major provider of dialysis services—sued the Marietta Plan, arguing that the Plan’s limited coverage for outpatient dialysis violated the Medicare Secondary Payer statute. The statute makes Medicare a “secondary” payer to an individual’s existing insurance plan for certain medical services, including dialysis, when that plan already covers the same services. 42 U. S. C. §§1395y(b)(1)(C), (2), (4). To prevent plans from circumventing their primary-payer obligation for end-stage renal disease treatment, the statute imposes two constraints relevant here. First, a plan “may not differentiate in the benefits it provides between individuals having end stage renal disease and other individuals covered by such plan on the basis of the existence of end stage renal disease, the need for renal dialysis, or in any other manner.” §1395y(b)(1)(C)(ii). Second, a plan “may not take into account that an individual is entitled to or eligible for” Medicare due to end-stage renal disease. §1395y(b)(1)(C)(i); see §426–1. The District Court dismissed DaVita’s claims that the Marietta Plan violated both statutory constraints. A divided panel of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed. Among other things, the Court of Appeals ruled that the statute authorized disparate-impact liability and that the limited payments for dialysis treatment had a disparate impact on individuals with end-stage renal disease.

Held: Section 1395y(b)(1)(C) does not authorize disparate-impact liability, and the Marietta Plan’s coverage terms for outpatient dialysis do not violate §1395y(b)(1)(C) because those terms apply uniformly to all covered individuals. Pp. 4–7.

  (a) Section 1395y(b)(1)(C)(ii) prohibits a plan from differentiating in benefits between individuals with and without end-stage renal disease. Because the Marietta Plan’s terms apply uniformly to individuals with and without end-stage renal disease, the Plan does not “differentiate in the benefits it provides between individuals” with and without end-stage renal disease. DaVita argues that the statute authorizes liability even when a plan limits benefits in a uniform way if the limitation on benefits has a disparate impact on individuals with end-stage renal disease. But the text of the statute cannot be read to encompass a disparate-impact theory. The statutory provision simply coordinates payments between group health plans and Medicare; the statute does not dictate any particular level of dialysis coverage. Pp. 4–7.

  (b) DaVita’s contention that a plan that provides limited coverage for outpatient dialysis impermissibly “take[s] into account” the Medicare eligibility of plan participants with end-stage renal disease fails for the same reason. Because the Marietta Plan provides the same outpatient dialysis benefits to all Plan participants, whether or not a participant is entitled to or eligible for Medicare, the Plan cannot be said to “take into account” whether its participants are entitled to or eligible for Medicare. Pp. 7.

978 F. 3d 326, reversed and remanded.

 Kavanaugh, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Roberts, C. J., and Thomas, Breyer, Alito, Gorsuch, and Barrett JJ., joined. Kagan, J., filed an opinion dissenting in part, in which Sotomayor, J., joined.


Certiorari To The United States Court Of Appeals For The Fourth Circuit

No. 20–1459. Argued December 7, 2021—Decided June 21, 2022

For his participation in an unsuccessful robbery during which his accomplice shot a man, respondent Justin Taylor faced charges of violating the Hobbs Act, 18 U. S. C. §1951(a), and of committing a “crime of violence” under §924(c). The Hobbs Act makes it a federal crime to commit, attempt to commit, or conspire to commit a robbery with an interstate component. §1951(a). Section 924(c) authorizes enhanced punishments for those who use a firearm in connection with a “crime of violence” as defined in either §924(c)(3)(A)—known as the elements clause—or §924(c)(3)(B)—known as the residual clause. Before the District Court, the government argued that Taylor’s Hobbs Act offense qualified as a “crime of violence” under §924(c). Taylor ultimately pleaded guilty to one count each of violating the Hobbs Act and §924(c). The District Court sentenced Taylor to 30 years in federal prison—a decade more than the maximum sentence for his Hobbs Act conviction alone. Taylor later filed a federal habeas petition focused on his §924(c) conviction, which was predicated on his admission that he had committed both conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery and attempted Hobbs Act robbery. Taylor argued neither Hobbes Act offense qualified as a “crime of violence” for purposes of §924(c) after United States v. Davis, 588 U. S. ___. In Davis, this Court held that §924(c)(3)(B)’s residual clause was unconstitutionally vague. Id., at ___–___. In his habeas proceeding, Taylor asked the court to apply Davis retroactively and vacate his §924(c) conviction and sentence. The government maintained that Taylor’s §924(c) conviction and sentence remained sound because his crime of attempted Hobbs Act robbery qualifies as a crime of violence under the elements clause. The Fourth Circuit held that attempted Hobbs Act robbery does not qualify as a crime of violence under §924(c)(3)(A). The Fourth Circuit vacated Taylor’s §924(c) conviction and remanded the case for resentencing. In reaching its judgment, the Fourth Circuit noted that other courts have held that attempted Hobbs Act robbery does qualify as a crime of violence under the elements clause.

Held: Attempted Hobbs Act robbery does not qualify as a “crime of violence” under §924(c)(3)(A) because no element of the offense requires proof that the defendant used, attempted to use, or threatened to use force. Pp. 3–13.

 (a) The Court applies a “categorical approach” to determine whether a federal felony may serve as a predicate for a conviction and sentence under the elements clause, which poses the question whether the federal felony in question “has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force.” §924(c)(3)(A) (emphasis added). The relevant inquiry is not how any particular defendant may commit the crime but whether the federal felony at issue always requires the government to prove—beyond a reasonable doubt, as an element of its case—the use, attempted use, or threatened use of force. This Court has long understood similarly worded statutes to demand similarly categorical inquiries. See, e.g., Borden v. United States, 593 U. S. ___, ___.

 An attempted Hobbs Act robbery does not satisfy the elements clause. To secure a conviction for attempted Hobbs Act robbery, the government must prove that the defendant intended to complete the offense and that the defendant completed a “substantial step” toward that end. See, e.g., United States v. Resendiz-Ponce, 549 U. S. 102, 107. An intention is just that, no more. And whatever a substantial step requires, it does not require the government to prove that the defendant used, attempted to use, or even threatened to use force against another person or his property—even if the facts would allow the government to do so in many cases. As the Model Penal Code explains with respect to the Hobbs Act’s common-law robbery analogue, “there will be cases, appropriately reached by a charge of attempted robbery, where the actor does not actually harm anyone or even threaten harm.” ALI, Model Penal Code §222.1, p. 114. But no element of attempted Hobbs Act robbery requires proof that the defendant used, attempted to use, or threatened to use force. Pp. 3–6.

 (b) The government’s countervailing arguments fail. Pp. 6–13.

  (1) The government first argues that the elements clause encompasses not only any offense that qualifies as a “crime of violence” but also any attempt to commit such a crime. But the elements clause only asks whether the defendant did commit a crime of violence as defined by the statute. Pp. 6–7.

  (2) The government next argues that the “substantial step” element of attempted Hobbs Act robbery categorically requires it to prove that a defendant used, attempted to use, or threatened to use physical force. But while many who commit the crime of attempted Hobbs Act robbery do use, attempt to use, or threaten to use force, the government’s problem is that no element of attempted Hobbs Act robbery requires the government to prove such facts beyond a reasonable doubt. The government maintains that anyone who takes a substantial step toward completing Hobbs Act robbery always or categorically poses a “threatened use” of force because the word “threat” can be used to speak of an abstract risk. The government submits that the elements clause uses the term to require only an objective, if uncommunicated, threat to community peace and order. But when Congress uses the word “threat” in such an abstract and predictive (rather than communicative) sense, it usually makes its point plain. The textual clues in the statute point in the opposite direction of the government’s reading. Moreover, the government’s view of the elements clause would have it effectively replicate the work formerly performed by the residual clause. Under usual rules of statutory interpretation, the Court does not lightly assume Congress adopts two separate clauses in the same law to perform the same work. See, e.g., Mackey v. Lanier Collection Agency & Service, Inc., 486 U. S. 825, 839, n. 14. Pp. 7–10.

  (3) The government’s final theory accepts that a conviction under the elements clause requires a communicated threat of force and contends that most attempted Hobbs Act robbery prosecutions involve exactly that. But whatever this argument proves, the theory cannot be squared with the statute’s terms. Congress in the elements clause did not mandate an empirical inquiry into how crimes are usually committed, let alone impose a burden on the defendant to present proof about the government’s own prosecutorial habits. Attempted Hobbs Act robbery does not categorically require proof of the elements § 924(c)(3)(A) demands. That ends the inquiry, and nothing in Gonzales v. Duenas-Alvarez, 549 U. S. 183, suggests otherwise. Pp. 10–13.

979 F. 3d 203, affirmed.

 Gorsuch, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Roberts, C. J., and Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagan, Kavanaugh, and Barrett, JJ., joined. Thomas, J., and Alito, J., filed dissenting opinions.

CARSON, as parent and next friend of O. C., et al. v. MAKIN

Certiorari To The United States Court Of Appeals For The First Circuit

No. 20–1088. Argued December 8, 2021—Decided June 21, 2022

Maine has enacted a program of tuition assistance for parents who live in school districts that neither operate a secondary school of their own nor contract with a particular school in another district. Under that program, parents designate the secondary school they would like their child to attend, and the school district transmits payments to that school to help defray the costs of tuition. Participating private schools must meet certain requirements to be eligible to receive tuition payments, including either accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) or approval from the Maine Department of Education. But they may otherwise differ from Maine public schools in various ways. Since 1981, however, Maine has limited tuition assistance payments to “nonsectarian” schools.

  Petitioners sought tuition assistance to send their children to Bangor Christian Schools (BCS) and Temple Academy. Although both BCS and Temple Academy are accredited by NEASC, the schools do not qualify as “nonsectarian” and are thus ineligible to receive tuition payments under Maine’s tuition assistance program. Petitioners sued the commissioner of the Maine Department of Education, alleging that the “nonsectarian” requirement violated the Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, as well as the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The District Court rejected petitioners’ constitutional claims and granted judgment to the commissioner. The First Circuit affirmed.

Held: Maine’s “nonsectarian” requirement for otherwise generally available tuition assistance payments violates the Free Exercise Clause. Pp. 6–18.

 (a) The Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment protects against “indirect coercion or penalties on the free exercise of religion, not just outright prohibitions.” Lyng v. Northwest Indian Cemetery Protective Assn., 485 U. S. 439, 450. The Court recently applied this principle in the context of two state efforts to withhold otherwise available public benefits from religious organizations. In Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, 582 U. S. ___, the Court considered a Missouri program that offered grants to qualifying nonprofit organizations that installed cushioning playground surfaces, but denied such grants to any applicant that was owned or controlled by a church, sect, or other religious entity. The Court held that the Free Exercise Clause did not permit Missouri to “expressly discriminate[ ] against otherwise eligible recipients by disqualifying them from a public benefit solely because of their religious character.” 582 U. S., at ___–___. And in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, 591 U. S. ___, the Court held that a provision of the Montana Constitution barring government aid to any school “controlled in whole or in part by any church, sect, or denomination” violated the Free Exercise Clause by prohibiting families from using otherwise available scholarship funds at religious schools. 591 U. S., at ___. “A State need not subsidize private education,” the Court concluded, “[b]ut once a State decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious.” Id., at ___. Pp. 6–8.

 (b) The principles applied in Trinity Lutheran and Espinoza suffice to resolve this case. Maine offers its citizens a benefit: tuition assistance payments for any family whose school district does not provide a public secondary school. Just like the wide range of nonprofit organizations eligible to receive playground resurfacing grants in Trinity Lutheran, a wide range of private schools are eligible to receive Maine tuition assistance payments here. And like the daycare center in Trinity Lutheran, the religious schools in this case are disqualified from this generally available benefit “solely because of their religious character.” 582 U. S., at ___. Likewise, in Espinoza, as here, the Court considered a state benefit program that provided public funds to support tuition payments at private schools and specifically carved out private religious schools from those eligible to receive such funds. Both that program and this one disqualify certain private schools from public funding “solely because they are religious.” 591 U. S., at ___. A law that operates in that manner must be subjected to “the strictest scrutiny.” Id., at ___–___.

 Maine’s program cannot survive strict scrutiny. A neutral benefit program in which public funds flow to religious organizations through the independent choices of private benefit recipients does not offend the Establishment Clause. See Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, 536 U. S. 639, 652–653. Maine’s decision to continue excluding religious schools from its tuition assistance program after Zelman thus promotes stricter separation of church and state than the Federal Constitution requires. But a State’s antiestablishment interest does not justify enactments that exclude some members of the community from an otherwise generally available public benefit because of their religious exercise. Pp. 9–11.

 (c) The First Circuit’s attempts to recharacterize the nature of Maine’s tuition assistance program do not suffice to distinguish this case from Trinity Lutheran or Espinoza. Pp. 11–18.

 (1) The First Circuit held that the “nonsectarian” requirement was constitutional because the benefit was properly viewed not as tuition payments to be used at approved private schools but instead as funding for the “rough equivalent of the public school education that Maine may permissibly require to be secular.” 979 F. 3d 21, 44. But the statute does not say anything like that. The benefit provided by statute is tuition at a public or private school, selected by the parent, with no suggestion that the “private school” must somehow provide a “public” education. Moreover, the differences between private schools eligible to receive tuition assistance under Maine’s program and a Maine public school are numerous and important. To start with, private schools do not have to accept all students, while public schools generally do. In addition, the free public education that Maine insists it is providing through the tuition assistance program is often not free, as some participating private schools charge several times the maximum benefit that Maine is willing to provide. And the curriculum taught at participating private schools need not even resemble that taught in the Maine public schools.

 The key manner in which participating private schools are required to resemble Maine public schools, however, is that they must be secular. Maine may provide a strictly secular education in its public schools. But BCS and Temple Academy—like numerous other recipients of Maine tuition assistance payments—are not public schools. Maine has chosen to offer tuition assistance that parents may direct to the public or private schools of their choice. Maine’s administration of that benefit is subject to the free exercise principles governing any public benefit program—including the prohibition on denying the benefit based on a recipient’s religious exercise. Pp. 11–15.

 (2) The Court of Appeals also attempted to distinguish this case from Trinity Lutheran and Espinoza on the ground that the funding restrictions in those cases were “solely status-based religious discrimination,” while the challenged provision here “imposes a use-based restriction.” 979 F. 3d, at 35, 37–38. Trinity Lutheran and Espinoza held that the Free Exercise Clause forbids discrimination on the basis of religious status. But those decisions never suggested that use-based discrimination is any less offensive to the Free Exercise Clause. This case illustrates why. “[E]ducating young people in their faith, inculcating its teachings, and training them to live their faith are responsibilities that lie at the very core of the mission of a private religious school.” Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, 591 U. S. ___, ___. In short, the prohibition on status-based discrimination under the Free Exercise Clause is not a permission to engage in use-based discrimination.

 Locke v. Davey, 540 U. S. 712, does not assist Maine here. The scholarship funds at issue in Locke were intended to be used “to prepare for the ministry.” Trinity Lutheran, 582 U. S., at ___. Locke’s reasoning expressly turned on what it identified as the “historic and substantial state interest” against using “taxpayer funds to support church leaders.” 540 U. S., at 722, 725. But “it is clear that there is no ‘historic and substantial’ tradition against aiding [private religious] schools” that is “comparable.” Espinoza, 591 U. S., at ___. Locke cannot be read to generally authorize the State to exclude religious persons from the enjoyment of public benefits on the basis of their anticipated religious use of the benefits. Pp. 15–18.

979 F. 3d 21, reversed and remanded.

 Roberts, C. J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett, JJ., joined. Breyer, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Kagan J., joined, and in which Sotomayor, J., joined as to all but Part I–B. Sotomayor, J., filed a dissenting opinion.

Shoop, Warden v. Twyford

Certiorari To The United States Court Of Appeals For The Sixth Circuit

No. 21–511. Argued April 26, 2022—Decided June 21, 2022

Respondent Raymond Twyford was convicted by an Ohio jury of aggravated murder and other charges and was sentenced to death. The Ohio appellate courts affirmed his conviction and sentence. Twyford then sought state postconviction relief, claiming that his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to present evidence of a head injury Twyford sustained as a teenager. The Ohio courts rejected his claim, concluding that trial counsel had simply presented a competing psychological theory for Twyford’s actions. Twyford then filed a petition for federal habeas relief. The District Court dismissed most of Twyford’s claims as procedurally defaulted but allowed a few to proceed. He then moved for an order compelling the State to transport him to a medical facility, arguing that neurological testing would plausibly lead to the development of evidence to support his claim that he suffers neurological defects. The District Court granted Twyford’s motion under the All Writs Act, which authorizes federal courts to “issue all writs necessary or appropriate in aid of their respective jurisdictions and agreeable to the usages and principles of law.” 28 U. S. C. §1651(a). The Court of Appeals affirmed. Both courts concluded that it was unnecessary to consider the admissibility of any resulting evidence prior to ordering the State to transport Twyford to gather it.

Held: A transportation order that allows a prisoner to search for new evidence is not “necessary or appropriate in aid of” a federal court’s adjudication of a habeas corpus action when the prisoner has not shown that the desired evidence would be admissible in connection with a particular claim for relief. Pp. 4–11.

 (a) The State argues that the All Writs Act does not authorize the issuance of transportation orders for medical testing at all. The State also argues that the order issued in this case was not “necessary or appropriate in aid of” the District Court’s jurisdiction because Twyford failed to show that the evidence he hoped to find would be useful to his habeas case. Because this Court agrees with the State’s second argument, it does not address the first.

 In habeas cases such as this, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) restricts a federal court’s authority to grant relief. AEDPA provides that a federal habeas court cannot grant relief in a case adjudicated on the merits in state court unless the state court (1) contradicted or unreasonably applied this Court’s precedents, or (2) handed down a decision “based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the State court proceeding.” §§2254(d)(1)–(2). AEDPA also restricts the ability of a federal habeas court to develop and consider new evidence, limiting review of factual determinations under §2254(d)(2) to “the evidence presented in the State court proceeding,” and review of legal claims under §2254(d)(1) “to the record that was before the state court.” Cullen v. Pinholster, 563 U. S. 170, 181. A federal court may admit new evidence only in two limited situations: Either the claim must rely on a “new” and “previously unavailable” “rule of constitutional law” made retroactively applicable by this Court, or it must rely on “a factual predicate that could not have been previously discovered through the exercise of due diligence.” §2254(e)(2)(A). But before a federal court may decide whether to grant an evidentiary hearing or “otherwise consider new evidence” under §2254(e)(2), it must first determine that such evidence could be legally considered in the prisoner’s case. Shinn v. Martinez Ramirez, 596 U. S. ___, ___. That is because a federal court “may never needlessly prolong a habeas case, particularly given the essential need to promote the finality of state convictions.” Id., at ___ (internal quotation marks omitted).

 Twyford’s transportation request was granted under the All Writs Act. This Court has held that the All Writs Act cannot be used to circumvent statutory requirements or otherwise binding procedural rules. See Pennsylvania Bureau of Correction v. United States Marshals Service, 474 U. S. 34, 43. In federal habeas proceedings, AEDPA provides the governing rules. And this Court’s precedents explain that a district court must consider AEDPA’s requirements before facilitating the development of new evidence. By the same token, if an order issued under the All Writs Act enables a prisoner to fish for unusable evidence, such a writ would not be “necessary or appropriate in aid of” the federal court’s jurisdiction, as all orders issued under the Act must be. §1651(a). “[G]uided by the general principles underlying [this Court’s] habeas corpus jurisprudence,” Calderon v. Thompson, 523 U. S. 538, 554, a writ that enables a prisoner to gather evidence that would not be admissible would “needlessly prolong” resolution of the federal habeas case, Shinn, 596 U. S., at ___, and frustrate the “State’s interest[ ] in finality,” Calderon, 523 U. S., at 556. A federal court order requiring a State to transport a prisoner to a public setting not only delays resolution of his habeas case, but may also present serious risks to public safety. Commanding a State to take such risks so that a prisoner can search for unusable evidence would not be a “necessary or appropriate” means of aiding a federal court’s limited habeas review. Pp. 4–9.

 (b) The District Court and Court of Appeals in this case concluded that directing the State to transport Twyford to a medical facility would aid the adjudication of his habeas petition, but they never determined how this could aid his cause. For the reasons discussed, that was error. Applying the proper standard here is straightforward. Twyford never explained how the results of the neurological testing could be admissible in his habeas proceedings, and it is hard to see how they could be, since the District Court’s AEDPA review is limited to “the record that was before the state court,” Pinholster, 563 U. S., at 181, and Twyford made no attempt to explain how that bar would be inapplicable in his case. Twyford suggested that the results of his brain testing could “plausibly” bear on the question whether to excuse procedural default, but he did not identify the particular defaulted claims nor explain how the testing would allow him to resurrect those claims. Pp. 9–11.

11 F. 4th 518, reversed and remanded.

 Roberts, C. J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Thomas, Alito, Kavanaugh, and Barrett, JJ., joined. Breyer, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Sotomayor and Kagan, JJ., joined. Gorsuch, J., filed a dissenting opinion.