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Supreme Court of Categorical Approach: Pereida v. Wilkinson

March 04, 2021 (1 min read)

Pereida v. Wilkinson (5-3)

Majority: "Under the INA, certain nonpermanent aliens seeking to cancel a lawful removal order must prove that they have not been convicted of a disqualifying crime. The Eighth Circuit correctly held that Mr. Pereida failed to carry this burden. Its judgment is Affirmed."

Dissent: "This case, in my view, has little or nothing to do with burdens of proof. It concerns the application of what we have called the “categorical approach” to determine the nature of a crime that a noncitizen (or defendant) was previously convicted of committing. That approach sometimes allows a judge to look at, and to look only at, certain specified documents. Unless those documents show that the crime of conviction necessarily falls within a certain category (here a “crime involving moral turpitude”), the judge must find that the conviction was not for such a crime. The relevant documents in this case do not show that the previous conviction at issue necessarily was for a crime involving moral turpitude. Hence, applying the categorical approach, it was not. That should be the end of the case."