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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit posts four today, including a review of a decision by Judge Hamilton, and more criticism of immigration judges

In a decision of more than passing interest today, Moranski, John W. v. General Motors (SD Ind., David Hamilton), Judge Williams writes:

Several years ago, General Motors developed what is now known as its Affinity Group program. The program, which makes company resources available to recognized groups, began as an outgrowth of the company’s efforts to support employees from diverse backgrounds and improve company performance. General Motors’s Affinity Group Guidelines prohibit the conferral of Affinity Group status on any group promoting or advocating a religious position. Citing these Guidelines, General Motors declined to grant Affinity Group status to employee John Moranski’s proposed Christian Employee Network. We agree with the district court that General Motors’s denial of Affinity Group status to Moranski’s proposed group did not discriminate against him on the basis of his religion, as the program treats equally all groups with religious positions. Therefore, we affirm the district court’s decision to dismiss Moranski’s complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.

In USA v. Segal, Michael, a 23-page opinion, Judge Manion writes:

After a conviction and a forfeiture verdict, Michael Segal relinquished his interest in several Chicago-area insurance companies to the United States. The court appointed a trustee to manage these interests for the government’s benefit. Segal challenges the district court’s approval of the trustee’s transfer of one of Segal’s former businesses, International Film Guarantors, Incorporated (“IFG”), to an outside firm, Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company (“Fireman’s Fund”). We affirm.

Pasha, Klodiana v. Gonzales, Albert is an immigration case. The opinion, written by Judge Posner, has an interesting twist on the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies and also echos the criticisms set out in this Dec. 26th ILB entry. Some quotes:

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we reiterate our oft-expressed concern with the adjudication of asylum claims by the Immigration Court and the Board of Immigration Appeals and with the defense of the BIA’s asylum decisions in this court by the Justice Department’s Office of Immigration Litigation. See Benslimane v. Gonzales, No. 04-1339, 2005 WL 3193641, at *1 (7th Cir. Nov. 30, 2005), and cases cited there. The performance of these federal agencies is too often inadequate. This case presents another depressing example. * * *

But all that matters is that if the Board of Immigration Appeals for whatever reason won’t consider constitutional challenges—and it won’t—there is scant reason to require the alien to make them to the Board. And so the government’s failure to address Pasha’s constitutional argument, on the ground that the appeal is barred by the exhaustion doctrine, is another lapse. This case has been poorly handled by the government at every stage: the proceeding before the immigration judge, the summary affirmance by the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the decision by the government in this court to put all its eggs in a basket that it should have known would not hold them.

The order of removal is vacated and the case returned to the Board of Immigration Appeals for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

USA v. Hankton, Clarence is a sentencing decision.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 29, 2005 03:25 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions