Friday, August 31, 2007

Gonzales v. Thomas, 547 U.S. 183 (2007)

Congress has repeatedly attempted to strip jurisdiction of immigration cases from federal courts in general and the 9th Circuit in particular. And, in 2006 the Supreme Court reversed the 9th Circuit (again) in Gonzales v. Thomas, 547 U.S. 183 (2006), writing . . . "a court of appeals is not generally empowered to conduct a [new] inquiry into the matter [deportation] and to reach its own conclusions based on such an inquiry." In effect, the Court reprimanded the 9th Circuit for substituting its own opinion in lieu of the Immigration Judge (IJ). Here a few more examples of 9th Circuit reversals of Immigration Court judges: July & August 2007: Gomez v. Gonzales, 498 F.3d 1050 (9th Cir.2007): In petitioning for cancellation of removal, petitioner filed an untimely document in support of her petition and, accordingly, the IJ refused to accept it. The 9th Circuit said the IJ did not give a "reasoned decision" for his ruling. How much "reason" is necessary to explain a rule that requires timely filing of a document? Reversed.

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