As I've noted previously, 2007 has been the Year of Certification in the Ninth Circuit, with an unprecedented number of questions certified to state supreme courts. This one continues the trend. Moreover, this is also an extremely rare example of a federal court certifying a state law question in a federal habeas case. You don't see that every day. Or even every decade.
Beyond the doctrinal implications, the case also brought an idiosyncratic smile to my face because the certification was issued by my former boss, Judge Reinhardt, and counsel for the petitioner was Lisa Hay. Upon the latter of whom I once had a total crush.
So the Oregon Supreme Court now has some more homework assigned to it by the Ninth Circuit. If it chooses to accept it.