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Immigration Law

Sup. Ct. Argument Analysis: Guerrero-Lasprilla v. Barr and Ovalles v. Barr

Prof. Kit Johnson, SCOTUSblog, Dec. 10, 2019

"On Monday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in the consolidated cases of Guerrero-Lasprilla v. Barr and Ovalles v. Barr. These cases focus on the meaning of a single statutory provision: 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(2)(D).

The parties agree the statute means that U.S. courts of appeals are authorized to consider “questions of law” raised in appeals by noncitizens convicted of certain crimes from decisions by the Board of Immigration Appeals regarding their removal from the United States. They also agree that courts of appeals have no jurisdiction to consider other questions raised by such cases. Finally, the parties agree that Congress drafted this statute in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Immigration & Naturalization Service v. St. Cyr, in which the court warned that preventing review of legal questions in this type of appeal would create “substantial constitutional questions.”

Where the parties diverge is in their understanding of the breadth of the phrase “questions of law.” ... "