On September 7, Professor Jennifer Koh filed an amicus brief to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of rehearing en banc in Martinez-de Ryan v. Sessions, 895 F.3d 1191 (9th Cir. 2018), in which the court found in a published opinion that the immigration law definition of “crimes involving moral turpitude” did not violate the void for vagueness doctrine. The amicus brief, filed on behalf of national and regional organizations the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild and U.C. Davis Immigration Law Clinic, argued that the crime involving moral turpitude definition fails to provide the notice and fair enforcement required by the vagueness doctrine. Professor Koh co-authored the brief with Professor Evangeline Abriel, Clinical Professor at Santa Clara Law School. Western State student Juan Villanueva, who is currently enrolled in the Immigration Clinic, worked on the brief as well.
Professors Andrew Knapp, Jennifer Koh, and Daniel Sharp all served as speakers at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Annual Conference in San Francisco, which took place from June 13-16. Their panels addressed preserving due process protections in immigration court (Professor Knapp), evidentiary objections in immigration court (Professor Koh), and management and leadership skills for immigration attorneys (Professor Sharp). The AILA Annual Conference is the largest immigration law gathering of its kind in the country, and each year brings together thousands of immigration law practitioners, leading law experts, government officials, and other legal professionals from around the United States and the world.
On October 13, Professor Jennifer Koh spoke on a panel at the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s Rocky Mountain Conference on Crimmigration in Denver, Colorado at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. The panel focused on legal strategies to defend against expedited removal and reinstatement of removal, two forms of removal used by the Department of Homeland Security to deport immigrants without providing immigration court hearings.
On November 14, 2016, Professors Andrew Knapp and Jennifer Koh co-authored an amicus brief to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Szonyi v. Lynch, a case involving the immigration consequences of crime. The amicus brief addresses the application of the doctrines of Chevron deference, constitutional avoidance and void for vagueness to the Board of Immigration Appeals’ interpretation of a “single scheme of criminal misconduct.” The brief was submitted on behalf of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)’s Amicus Committee.
Professor Knapp is currently counsel to Respondent James Dimaya in Lynch v. Dimaya, a Supreme Court case that will be argued in early 2017 involving whether the definition of “crimes of violence” in the immigration context is unconstitutionally vague. Professor Koh has authored an article, forthcoming in the December 2016 volume of the Wisconsin Law Review, entitled “Crimmigration and the Void for Vagueness Doctrine,” which explores the void for vagueness doctrine in the context of crime-based removal statutes in more depth.