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Immigration Law

Online Symposium on Chaidez v. U.S.: Is Padilla Retroactive?

"Tomorrow morning the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in Chaidez v. United States, No. 11-820, a case asking the Court to decide whether its landmark decision in Padilla v. Kentucky, 130 S. Ct. 1473 (2010), applies retroactively. With the help of 11 outstanding contributors, and following in the footsteps of our inaugural online symposium on Moncrieffe v. Holder, No. 11-702, this symposium gathers advocates from across the immigration law spectrum: individuals who have been integrally involved in the litigation before the Court, practitioners who have successfully litigated Padilla claims in state and federal courts across the country, criminal defense attorneys who moved into immigration law, and immigration attorneys who have moved into criminal law.

The symposium kicks off today with contributions by Yolanda Vázquez, a University of Cincinnati law professor who helped steer Padilla through the Court and has been tracking crImmigration law’s rapid evolution for years, first as a public defender, then as an immigration attorney, and now as an academic focused on crImmigration law; Maurice Hew, an immigration law professor at Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law, who runs a law school immigration clinic that has been litigating Padilla claims from day one; and Neil Fleischer, a Cincinnati attorney who successfully litigated a Padilla retroactivity case in federal court and has a keen understanding of what the Court’s decision in Chaidez will mean for noncitizens.

We’ll continue the symposium tomorrow with Christopher Lasch, a former criminal defense attorney who now runs the University of Denver’s criminal defense clinic, and has a deep understanding of the Court’s retroactivity framework; Craig Siegel, an attorney at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP and counsel of record for a group of criminal defense and immigration defense organizations that submitted an amicus brief to the Court in support of Ms. Chaidez; and Carlos M. García, an immigration attorney at García & García Attorneys at Law, PLLC who has successfully used Padilla to prevent removal in Texas state courts and immigration courts (and is’s patrocinador and my brother).

Next week oral arguments will be recapped by Lasch; Rebecca Sharpless, a tireless University of Miami law professor who helped prepare AILA’s amicus brief to the Court in support of Ms. Chaidez; Siegel; two attorneys from the National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago, an organization that serves as Chaidez’s co-counsel: Claudia Valenzuela, the Associate Director of Litigation at NIJC, andSarah Rose Weinman, an Equal Justice Works Fellow there; and Michael Vastine, a St. Thomas University law professor who argued a Padilla retroactivity case before the Florida Supreme Court.

After a decision is issued, the symposium will wrap up with analyses by Lasch; Dawn Seibert, an attorney at the extraordinary Immigrant Defense Project in New York and a key figure in the amicus brief that IDP and other immigration advocacy groups submitted to the Court; Sharpless; Elizabeth Wydra, the Constitutional Accountability Center’s Chief Counsel and counsel of record for the CAC and a group of habeas scholars’ amicus brief; and Vastine.

With such an impressive group, the conversation shouldn’t be delayed any longer. Here it is:

  • Anonymous
    The BAD thing BEFORE Padilla case, rulled by the US Supreme Court is the so many abuses that the INS and BIA have been committing FOR DECADES against legal permanents residents an their families. And, the GOOD thing after Padilla is, that since that rule every single lawyer has been advicing correctly to their clients.