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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Ind. Decisions - Several 7th Circuit decisions of interest today

The Indiana decision today is a prisoner's appeal, Woods v. McBride (SD Ind., Chief Judge McKinney), where the District Court is affirmed.

Another decision of interest is Benslimane v. Gonzales, appealing an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals. This one is written by Judge Posner, who has written previous opinions containing stinging criticisms of immigration judges. Some quotes from today's 9-page ruling:

In the year ending on the date of the argument, different panels of this court reversed the Board of Immigration Appeals in whole or part in a staggering 40 percent of the 136 petitions to review the Board that were resolved on the merits. The corresponding figure, for the 82 civil cases during this period in which the United States was the appellee, was 18 percent. Our criticisms of the Board and of the immigration judges have frequently been severe. E.g., Dawoud v. Gonzales, 424 F.3d 608, 610 (7th Cir. 2005) (“the [immigration judge’s] opinion is riddled with inappropriate and extraneous comments”) [the citations continue on for a full page] * * *

The Board’s action is intelligible, but not justifiable, only as punishment for a lawyer’s mistaken belief that the filing of the I-485 form (which had already been filed!) would be premature. We are not required to permit Benslimane to be ground to bits in the bureaucratic mill against the will of Congress. And anyway punishment was not the rationale of the Board’s action, which appears to have been completely arbitrary.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 30, 2005 01:30 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions