Wednesday, January 20, 2010

U.S. Supreme Court Takes on Circuit Court Jurisdiction to Review Motions to Reopen

The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari and heard oral arguments in Kucana v. Holder, Attorney General Docket No. 08-911 on November 10, 2009.

A copy of the transcript of the argument can be found here:
Supreme Court Transcipt in Kucana v. Holder

The question that was granted cert is "What is the scope of the jurisdictional stripping provision of 8 U.S.C. Section 1252(a)(2)(B)(ii) and whether the statute removes jurisdiction from federal courts to review rulings on motions to reopen by the Board of Immigration Appeals?"

This case arises from the Seventh Circuit and is the only circuit that has not found jurisdiction in BIA motion to reopen. If the Supreme Court holds with the decision from the Seventh Circuit, this will create a major impediment in our ability to obtain judicial review of immigration cases.

The facts in the case presented are that an Albanian national filed for political asylum and was ordered deported in absentia because he came late to a hearing in immigration court. His motion to reopen and appeal to the BIA were unsuccessful.

He later filed a motion to reopen for changed country conditions and this is the denial that is now before the Supreme Court.

Here is a link to the Petitioner's Opening Brief:
Petitioner's Opening Brief

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