Gorsuch Holds 9th Circuit Went Too Far in Accepting Immigrant Testimony
WASHINGTON – In a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court tossed a pair of decisions from the 9th U.S. Circuit, holding the appellate court went too far in assuming that an immigrant’s testimony was credible unless an immigrant judge said otherwise.
Tuesday’s ruling involved a pair of consolidated cases in which immigrants avoided deportation thanks to that presumption.
In the first case, Cesar Alcaraz-Enriquez had been convicted for domestic violence and his probation report was rife with accounts of violent assaults. But Alcaraz-Enriquez said there were mitigating circumstances — namely that he was trying to protect his daughter.
Because an immigration judge made no credibility determination during the trial, the Ninth Circuit held Alcaraz-Enriquez’s testimony must be accepted.
In the second case, Ming Dai, a Chinese citizen, overstayed a tourist visa and sought asylum, but gave conflicting testimony about the persecution he would face were he returned to China.
Dai lost the first round but the Ninth Circuit, relying on “the absence of an explicit adverse credibility finding,” ruled that Dai was eligible for asylum.
Writing for he and his fellow Justices, Gorsuh noted the Ninth Circuit has long applied “a special rule” in immigration disputes, but held that the Circuit’s rule has no proper place in a reviewing court’s analysis under the Immigration and Nationality Act, or I.N.A.
“When it comes to questions of fact — such as the circumstances surrounding Mr. Alcaraz-Enriquez’s prior conviction or Mr. Dai’s alleged persecution — the I.N.A. provides that a reviewing court must accept ‘administrative findings’ as ‘conclusive unless any reasonable adjudicator would be compelled to conclude to the contrary.’”
“Nothing in the I.N.A., contemplates anything like the embellishment the Ninth Circuit has adopted,” he added.
The cases are Garland v. Dai, No. 19-1155 and Garland v. Alcaraz-Enriquez, No. 19-1156.
In The News
WASHINGTON (AP) — With abortion and guns already on the agenda, the conservative-dominated Supreme Court is considering adding a third blockbuster issue — whether to ban consideration of race in college admissions. The justices on Monday put off a decision about whether they will hear an... Read More
The Supreme Court this week decided to leave in place a $2 billion verdict in favor of women who claim they developed ovarian cancer from using Johnson & Johnson talc products. As is their custom, the justices did not comment Tuesday on why they rejected Johnson & Johnson's... Read More
WASHINGTON -- A U.S. Supreme Court ruling Thursday makes it harder to impose liability on workers who use their employers’ computers for unauthorized purposes. The ruling restricts the Justice Department's authority to prosecute unauthorized computer use under the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. It also... Read More
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday decided not to review a lawsuit asking whether it's sex discrimination for the government to require only men to register for the draft when they turn 18. The challenge, originally brought by a men's rights group, asserted that the... Read More
WASHINGTON - In a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court tossed a pair of decisions from the 9th U.S. Circuit, holding the appellate court went too far in assuming that an immigrant's testimony was credible unless an immigrant judge said otherwise. Tuesday’s ruling involved a pair of... Read More
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that tribal police officers can stop and search non-Native Americans on tribal lands for potential violations of state or federal law. The justices unanimously reversed an appellate ruling in favor of a non-Native motorist who was charged with drug-related... Read More