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Monday, December 26, 2005

Immigration Woes

Today's NYT features an article by Adam Liptak entitled "Courts Criticize Judges' Handling of Asylum Cases."  This article follows up on a topic covered in a post by Steve Vladeck, and looks at incidents of egregious immigration judge behavior that warranted sharp rebuke in the 3d and 9th Circuits as well.  Here's some of the key language.

Mary M. Schroeder, the chief judge of the Ninth Circuit, which hears almost half of all immigration appeals, said the current system was "woefully inadequate."  Immigration judges, she said, "are very unevenly qualified, and they work under very bad conditions." ...

In another decision, Judge Marsha S. Berzon of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, said a decision by Nathan W. Gordon, an immigration judge, was "literally incomprehensible," "incoherent" and "indecipherable." A crucial sentence in Judge Gordon's decision, she said, "defies parsing under ordinary rules of English grammar.

Incidentally, Liptak's piece refers to a forthcoming law review article in the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, but the NYT mysteriously left out the name of the article's author.   The best part of the article is the ending, which quotes Judge Rovner's reaction to a DOJ lawyer who argued before her in the 7th Circuit:

"It is so cruel to send a lovely human being like you in here to be a messenger of such madness, such nonsense," Judge Rovner said.

Posted by Administrators on December 26, 2005 at 11:17 AM in Law and Politics | Permalink


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Dan -- Of course you were kidding! :-) I wouldn't seriously dare think that I had anything to do with it; and thanks for the info on the authors!

Posted by: Steve Vladeck | Dec 27, 2005 10:19:16 AM

Ha. The truth is that Adam was going to write the story after he saw the Posner opinion. I hope it was clear that I was just kidding in my earlier comment regarding any connection between the story and prawfs. And a helpful reader (Adam himself) notes that the authors of the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal article mentioned are John R.B. Palmer, Steven W. Yale-Loehr and Elizabeth Cronin.

Posted by: Dan Markel | Dec 27, 2005 8:53:01 AM

Dan -- You just run in better circles, I guess... :-)

Posted by: Steve Vladeck | Dec 27, 2005 1:22:23 AM

Steve, I did meet Adam Liptak earlier this month in NYC and we did discuss this story. But I would hesitate to generalize further...

Posted by: Dan Markel | Dec 26, 2005 7:49:56 PM

So Dan, the real question has to be whether the Times is getting their news from us?


Posted by: Steve Vladeck | Dec 26, 2005 4:51:13 PM

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