U.S. Supreme Court

Judge Demands DOJ Emails on Immigration Claim, Says SCOTUS May Have Been Misled


The federal judge in New York who challenged several settlements by the Securities and Exchange Commission is now questioning whether Justice Department lawyers misled the U.S. Supreme Court.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff has ordered the government to turn over Justice Department emails documenting how its lawyers developed a claim in an immigration case that made it easier to deport aliens, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports. The brief now under scrutiny, filed in January 2009, says the federal government helps facilitate deported aliens’ return to the United States if an appeals court rules in their favor.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. referred to the purported policy in his opinion in the case, Nken v. Holder. He found no irreparable injury if aliens are deported in error because they can return with the government’s help.

Rakoff issued the disclosure order in a suit filed on behalf of immigrant rights groups by the Immigrant Rights Clinic at New York University School of Law. He opened his opinion this way: “ ‘Trust everybody, but cut the cards,’ as the old saying goes. When the Solicitor General of the United States makes a representation to the Supreme Court, trustworthiness is presumed. Here, however, plaintiffs seek to determine whether one such representation was accurate or whether, as it seems, the government’s lawyers were engaged in a bit of a shuffle.”

Hat tip to the Wall Street Journal Law Blog.

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