Thursday, April 29, 2021

Supreme Court Rules Against Government on Technical Question of Notice Requirement in Immigration Law

The Supreme Court, on Thursday, issued a 6-3 Opinion in Niz-Chavez v. Garland, Reversing a Lower Court’s Decision that had Limited Access to “Cancellation of Removal,” an important Form of Relief for Noncitizens in Deportation Proceedings.

Justice Neil Gorsuch, wrote the Majority Opinion, adopting a Rigid Interpretation of a Federal Statute, that requires the Government to Serve a “Notice to Appear” in order to Trigger the “Stop-Time” Rule.

That Rule can Foreclose Access to Immigration Relief by Preventing Noncitizens from Accruing the Time required for Eligibility.

According to the Majority, in order to Trigger the Stop-Time Rule, the Government must Issue a Single Immigration Charging Document with various pieces of Required Information, including the Date and Time of the Hearing.

The majority Rejected the Government’s contention that a Series of Documents could together Comprise the Required Notice, noting that the Plain Language of the Law, as well as its Structure and History, indicate a Single Document is Required.

The Voting line-up was Unusual.

Gorsuch’s Majority Opinion was joined by the Court’s Three Liberal Justices: Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan, as well as Two Conservatives Justices: Clarence Thomas and Amy Coney Barrett.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote a Dissent, which was joined by, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

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