Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Kerry v. Din U.S. Supreme Court Decision

From US News:

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday against strengthening marriage rights for binational couples who wish to live together in the United States.

Justices found in Kerry v. Din that naturalized U.S. citizen Fauzia Din cannot force greater explanation about or overturn in court the rejection of her Afghan husband Kanishka Berashk’s visa application.

The couple married in 2006. A year later, Din became an American citizen and Berashk requested a U.S. visa to join her. But his prior work in the Taliban-controlled government of Afghanistan apparently derailed the plan.

U.S. consular officials in Pakistan rejected his visa request, citing a broad terrorism-related statute.

The court split three ways, with a three-vote plurality led by Justice Antonin Scalia finding no “liberty interest” entitling Din to due process and the right to challenge the rejection on her husband’s behalf.

"Because Fauzia Din was not deprived of 'life, liberty, or property' when the Government denied Kanishka Berashk admission to the United States, there is no process due to her under the Constitution," Scalia wrote. "To the extent that she received any explanation for the Government’s decision, this was more than the Due Process Clause required."

A more restrained concurrence from Justices Anthony Kennedy and Samuel Alito found the curt visa rejection satisfied any due process requirement and that it was unnecessary to answer the constitutional question.

Justice Stephen Breyer, representing the four more liberal judges and agreeing with an earlier appeals court ruling, likened the case to other marriage-related issues handled by the court, and wrote Din was entitled to at least a more specific explanation for why the visa was denied.

Read more here.

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