Court Stripping and Limitations on Judicial Review of Immigration Cases

By Dobkin, Donald S. | Justice System Journal, January 1, 2007 | Go to article overview

Court Stripping and Limitations on Judicial Review of Immigration Cases


Dobkin, Donald S., Justice System Journal


Congressional "court stripping," or the attempt to take jurisdiction away from courts to review matters of all types, is not new. Jurisdiction-stripping proposals were advanced in Congress as early as 1830. Between 1953 and 1968, over sixty bills were introduced into Congress to restrict federal court jurisdiction over particular topics. The 1970s and 1980s saw efforts to strip the courts of jurisdiction in busing, abortion, and school-prayer cases. Sen. Jesse Helms once proposed a bill to strip the federal courts of jurisdiction to review school-prayer cases. Barry Goldwater, upon learning of the Helms bill, dismissed the proposal as the equivalent of "outlawing the Supreme Court."

Congress has for years attempted to strip courts of their jurisdiction to review actions of federal law-enforcement agencies and state courts in order to reverse decisions they do not like, punish judges, or even avoid future rulings they may not like. Federal courts, which have been essential in expanding and preserving individual rights, are now being barraged by congressional attempts to strip the courts of their power to review.

Congress's decisions about the courts' jurisdiction, including appellate jurisdiction, have considerable effects on their caseloads, although not always in ways that might have been anticipated. Nowhere has this trend been more apparent than in Congress's legislation in the immigration area. With the enactment of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), a Republican Congress and the Clinton administration fundamentally altered judicial review of immigration matters. Despite this legislation restricting judicial review, the caseload at the U.S. Court of Appeals has risen markedly, so much so that immigration cases now comprise 18 percent of the federal appellate civil docket.

The Legislation. The Supreme Court has suggested that "protecting the Executive's discretion from the courts. . . . can fairly be said to be the theme of the legislation." Reno v. Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Comm., 525 U.S. 471, 486 (1997). The AEDPA eliminated judicial review for criminal aliens. It stated that "Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no court shall have jurisdiction to review any final order of removal against any alien who is removable by reason of having committed a criminal offense." In addition, the act deleted the prior provision in federal law that permitted habeas corpus review of claims by aliens who were held in custody pursuant to deportation orders.

The IIRIRA was an attempt by Congress to eliminate judicial review of nonfinal orders or rulings primarily involving aliens in removal proceedings. It also contained provisions to deport summarily aliens seeking political asylum, often at border entry points, with no hope of judicial review. The HRIRA further restricted judicial review by providing that only "final" removal orders directed at aliens were reviewable. In addition, Sec. 1252(a)(2)(B)(ii), titled "Judicial Review of Orders of Removal," provided:

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no court shall have jurisdiction to review... (ii) any other decision or action of the Attorney General the authority for which is specified under this subchapter to be in the discretion of the Attorney General, other than the granting of relief under section 1158(a) of this title.

A pivotal question posed by the Sec. 1252 is whether the elimination of judicial review of discretionary matters applies only to Judicial Orders of Removal, as the heading or title of the section would suggest, or whether it applies to all discretionary decisions of the attorney general. Put another way, does the elimination of review of "discretionary matters" apply only to the removal context or does it apply generally to all matters of discretion of the attorney general?

The history recounted in the House Conference Report (S. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Court Stripping and Limitations on Judicial Review of Immigration Cases
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.