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.
Professor Jennifer Koh recently published Crimmigration and the Void for Vagueness in the Wisconsin Law Review. The article discusses the application of the void for vagueness doctrine to crime-based removal provisions in the immigration law. It argues that the federal courts should find several immigration provisions unconstitutionally vague because the twin values animating vagueness doctrine–providing reasonable notice and preventing arbitrary or discriminatory law enforcement practices–apply with exceptional force in immigration, an area of law in which the liberty stakes of the crime-based removal grounds are high, notice is critical, and the risk of arbitrariness and discrimination by government actors at multiple levels is acute. The article was cited in the merits brief of the Respondent as well as the amicus brief submitted by the National Immigration Project to the United States Supreme Court in Sessions v. Dimaya, a case involving whether 18 U.S.C. sec. 16(b), as incorporated into the federal immigration law, is unconstitutionally vague. The citation for the article is 2016 Wis. L. Rev. 1127.