Wednesday, December 8, 2021

(More on) Oral Argument in Patel v. Garland

Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia has more insight on the oral argument in Patel v. Garland over at Scotusblog. Her argument analysis, Justices grapple with question of federal court review in immigration cases , carefully walks through the justices' questioning. Here's her ultimate conclusion:

Judging the outcome by oral argument is a challenging task. With that said, based on the questions and concerns raised, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan seem strongly poised to support either Patel or the government’s reading of the statute, with potential support by several conservative justices. If so, Patel would be able to have a federal court review the finding by immigration authorities that he is ineligible for adjustment of status. Roberts and Alito seemed most likely to dissent.


P.S. One final thought on oral argument. Have you ever really looked at the transcripts from a SCOTUS case? The Patel one is available here. At the very end, you'll see an index of words used in the argument. Given that Patel's case is about review/reviewability/reviewable/reviewed, I thought that might the most used word. Or discretion/discretionary. Nope. Now, if it'd thought about it more, I shouldn't have been surprised by the word that popped up most frequently: justice. See, I read that with a lowercase "j" and thought, hey, good for Patel's counsel to make this all about justice. *insert face palm emoji here* Yeah, took me a minute to add the capitalization!

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