Chaidez Oral Argument Recap by Dean Kevin Johnson

"The argument was a lawyerly-like exercise in appellate advocacy, with the Justices skillfully probing the legal arguments concerning a collateral attack on a criminal conviction, as well as the policies implicated by the retroactive application of a decision of the Supreme Court. ... From my reading of the transcript, I found it hard to tell how the Court might ultimately rule, although I admittedly was more convinced before than after the argument that Chaidez would prevail.  The argument was not particularly “ideological” in nature; instead, the Justices genuinely seemed to be trying to grapple with the precedent and the practicalities of its ruling in the case at hand, as well as the policy questions implicated by the case.  Such careful deliberation of the individual case is precisely why it is difficult to predict how the Court will decide an immigration case." - Dean Kevin Johnson, Nov. 2, 2012.