On April 9, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a published decision involving crimes involving moral turpitude in the immigration context, in a case where Professor Jennifer Koh served as amicus counsel, along with Professor Kari Hong at Boston College Law School, on behalf of law professors and clinicians with expertise in immigration law or experience defending noncitizens in immigration proceedings. The case, Garcia-Martinez v. Sessions, involved the scope of theft crimes and the immigration law definition of a crime involving moral turpitude, and held that an expanded definition of crimes involving moral turpitude could not retroactively apply to certain theft crimes. Judge Ferdinand Fernandez wrote the opinion.
On July 21, Professor Jennifer Koh co-authored an amicus brief on behalf of 35 immigration law professors and clinicians in Garcia-Martinez v. Sessions, No. 16-72940, arguing that the immigration law definition of a “crime involving moral turpitude” is unconstitutionally vague under the void for vagueness doctrine. The amicus brief drew upon arguments discussed in Professor Koh’s 2016 law review article, Crimmigration and the Void for Vagueness Doctrine, 2016 Wis. L. Rev. 1127. The brief was co-authored by Professor Kari Hong, an Assistant Professor at Boston College Law School.