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.
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.
As a result of the Supreme Court’s grant of certiorari on September 29, 2016, Adjunct Professor Andrew Knapp will be appearing before the United States Supreme Court on behalf of the noncitizen respondent in Lynch v. Dimaya, a case involving the application of the void for vagueness doctrine to the federal definition of a “crime of violence” at 18 U.S.C. section 16(b), as incorporated into the Immigration and Nationality Act. Professor Knapp, a graduate of Western State Class of 1995, teaches in the Western State College of Law Immigration Clinic, where he is supervising students in the inaugural class of the Clinic’s Ninth Circuit Representation Project. Professor Knapp, who also serves as an adjunct professor at Southwestern Law School, represented Mr. James Dimaya before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals through the Southwestern Law School Ninth Circuit Clinic. He will be co-counseling the case with the law firm Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, where the legal team includes former Supreme Court law clerks E. Joshua Rosenkranz and Brian Goldman.
On September 24, Professor Jennifer Koh presented a working draft of her article, “Crimmigration and the Void for Vagueness Doctrine,” at the annual Clinical Law Review Writers’ Workshop held at NYU School of Law. The Article, which is scheduled for publication in the Wisconsin Law Review in December 2016, argues in favor of extending the void for vagueness doctrine to certain federal immigration laws that impose adverse immigration consequences on past criminal convictions.
As a member of the Board of Editors for the Clinical Law Review (a peer-edited journal sponsored by NYU Law School, the American Association of Law Schools, and the Clinical Legal Education Association), Professor Koh also served as a commentator/facilitator during the Workshop.