Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Immigration Article of the Day: Conservative Progressivism in Immigrant Habeas Court: Why Boumediene v. Bush is the Baseline Constitutional Minimum by Joshua J. Schroeder

Conservative Progressivism in Immigrant Habeas Court: Why Boumediene v. Bush is the Baseline Constitutional Minimum, Joshua J. Schroeder, NYU Review of Law & Social Change (2021).  DOWNLOAD THIS ARTICLE AS A PDF


This article opens with a presentation of the six baseline holdings of Boumediene v. Bush as an expression of the basic constitutional minimum required under the Suspension Clause for all habeas cases. Then it describes the Circuit split that gave rise to DHS v. Thuraissigiam, which distinguished Boumediene according to the Court’s Conservative Progressive ideology. In Thuraissigiam, this ideology was symbolized by Landon v. Plasencia that favored Mathews v. Eldridge post-racial balancing tests to real justice.

Then this article exposes the reasons why Thuraissigiam should be distinguished in all future cases, as Justice Sotomayor contended, according to its highly individualized, narrow set of circumstances. For as Sotomayor wrote in dissent, Thuraissigiam is “nothing short of a self-imposed injury to the Judiciary, to the separation of powers, and to the values embodied in the promise of the Great Writ.” As such, its rationale should not be followed or repeated, as it may soon fall into the same kind of disrepute as cases like Korematsu, Plessy, andBuck v. Bell.

In an unrelated matter USAID v. Alliance for Open Society, the Court attempted to rewrite the holdings of Boumediene as the opposite of what they were sub silentio. The Court should not be allowed to apply Boumediene as if it held the opposite of what it actually held. So fundamental is the holding of Boumediene to basic liberty in America that if the Court fails to rediscover the baseline holdings of Boumediene for whatever reason, it is possible the nation could founder.

This article concludes that the legal community should resist the recent changes the Court made to immigrant habeas corpus. If the Great Writ can be suspended by the government without a Declaration of War or an actual invasion on U.S. soil, then the U.S. Constitution is overridden. The legitimacy of the nation is at stake and the legal community should not falter in their duty to uphold the U.S. Constitution as a matter of loyalty and integrity regardless of how those in power misbehave or embarrass themselves by misrepresenting Boumediene’s six holdings.



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