Friday, February 2, 2007

Decision of the Day

The "Decision of the Day blog today today (here) highlights an immigration case, Apouviepseakoda v. Gonzales, 05-3752 (7th Cir., Feb. 2, 2007). In that case, the majority (Judges Evans and Easterbrook) deny the petition to review the BIA's denial of an asylum claim based on an alleged Due Process vilation (bias of the Immigration Judge) and the finding that tehg applicant was an incredible witness. A frequent critic of the immigration judges and BIA, Judge Richard Posner dissented.  He picks apart the IJ’s decision. Among other problems was the IJ's encouragement to the petitioner to speak up:

Today passiveness and demureness is not the regiment [sic] of the day. Today aggressiveness and loudness is [sic] the regiment [sic] of the day and you can even scream at the Court. I will not take offense to that, but I want to hear your voice. So, if you force me repeatedly to ask you to raise your voice I will not be pleased. And also might indicate the posture of your case as well. If you’re really strong in your convictions you’ll express it in a strong manner. If your answers are weak the Court may believe that you’re [sic] claim is also weak so conduct yourself accordingly.

Incredulous, Judge Posner notes that "I have never before heard it suggested that truthfulness can be inferred from a witness’s decibel level."

Does this seem surprising?  It shouldn't; remember it is immigration law!


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