Court rules against government on technical question of notice requirement in immigration law

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Court rules against government on technical question of notice requirement in immigration law

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By Jayesh Rathod


at 10:43 am

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued a 6-3 opinion on the Niz-Chavez v Garland case, overturning a lower court ruling that had limited access to “waiver deportation,” an important form of relief for non-citizens in deportation proceedings.

Judge Neil Gorsuch drafted the majority opinion and adopted a rigid interpretation of federal law requiring the government to make a “notice” in order to trigger the “stop time” rule. This rule can exclude access to immigration assistance by preventing non-citizens from receiving the time required for eligibility. According to the majority, the government must issue a single immigration fee collection document with various required information, including the date and time of the hearing, in order to trigger the stop time rule. The majority rejected the government’s claim that a number of documents together could contain the required notice, noting that the simple language of the law, as well as its structure and history, suggest that a single document is required.

The voting schedule was unusual. Gorsuch’s majority opinion was joined by the court’s three Liberals – Judges Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan – and two other Conservatives – Judges Clarence Thomas and Amy Coney Barrett. Judge Brett Kavanaugh wrote a dissent which Judges John Roberts and Judge Samuel Alito followed.

Check back soon for an in-depth analysis of the opinion.

Posted in Featured, Merits Cases

Recommended citation:
Jayesh Rathod, court ruling against the government on the technical question of the obligation to give notice in immigration law,
SCOTUSblog (April 29, 2021, 10:43 a.m.), https://www.scotusblog.com/2021/04/court-rules-against-government-on-technical-question-of-notice-requirement-in-immigration – law /