Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sources for Closing Argument Stories » Aesop's Fables as a Winning Trial Advocacy Technique, Stories & Analogies to Persuade Jurors

Aesop's Fables

The Tale of the Sour Grapes, the Tale of the Lioness and the Vixen, the Tale of the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing — these stories will not only educate your jurors, they’ll also entertain them.

This Online collection of Aesop's Fables includes a total of 655+ Fables, indexed in table format, with morals listed. Most were translated into English by Rev. George Fyler Townsend (1814-1900) and Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914) the rest are from Jean De La Fontaine in French and translated to English. Real Audio narrations, Classic Images, Random Images, Random Fables, Search Engine. 127 Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen.
The Images Image and Audio Audio are only accessible while reading the Fables. There are about 100 Fables in each of the first 4 sections.
Section 1 Image Real Audio Androcles -> The Eagle and the Arrow
Section 2 Image Real Audio The Eagle and the Jackdaw -> Jupiter Neptune Minerva and Momus
Section 3 Image Real Audio The Kid and the Wolf -> The Rich Man and the Tanner
Section 4 Image Real Audio The Rose and the Amaranth -> The Young Thief and His Mother
Section 5 Fantastic Fables by Ambrose Bierce - 245 Fables
Section 6 Image Fables of Jean De La Fontaine - More in process of being translated
Selected Fables Image Real Audio 86 Fables selected for their ease of reading and concise moral understanding
Fairy Tales Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen - 127 of them
Timeline Graphic Timeline of 1000 BC - 500 BC
Timeline All Java Panorama Graphic Timeline of 1000 BC - 1000 AD
A Kidnapped Santa Claus A Short story by L. Frank Baum
The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus A medium length story by L. Frank Baum
A Christmas Carol The story of Scrooge by Charles Dickens

Immigration Stats, International Migration Data Hub, Country & Comparative Data

Migration Facts, Stats & Maps, Data Hub, Country and Comparative Data

The MPI Data Hub showcases in-depth and latest data on immigrant trends and patterns in the United States and around the world. Research tools include US State Data on the Foreign Born, Maps of the Foreign Born, the World Migration Map, Comparative Charts and Tables, the Global Remittances Guide, and asylum data.

To date, the Data Hub has compiled stock, flow, citizenship, asylum, and historical data for 17 countries, including the United States, as well as extensive data from the US Census Bureau and Department of Homeland Security that cover the numbers and characteristics of immigrant populations residing in and arriving to the United States every year. We work with demographers and government experts to bring the most accurate and relevant data on international migration and immigrant integration together in one place.

Jump to research tools available on the following topics: US Immigration, Immigrant Integration, European Migration, Migration and Development, and Refugee Protection.

Data Manager: Jeanne Batalova, PhD
MPI Data Hub’s team: Kirin Kalia, Aaron Terrazas

Note on the comparability of country-specific data: Countries around the world publish international migration data based on various definitions. For example, some countries define immigrants based on their place of birth, while others use citizenship as their defining criteria. While the information published by some governments may initially appear identical, the different concepts used can affect the comparability of the data. Because of these differences, it is necessary to exercise caution when drawing conclusions based on the comparison of migration statistics of several countries. The Country and Comparative Data Tool presents country-specific data published by governments worldwide. The table choices available in the Country and Comparative Data Tool are limited by the countries’ preferred data formats as well as the general availability of the data.


Defendants Get Enough Warning About a Guilty Plea's Consequences? 6th A. requires defense lawyers to advise on Immigration Consequences?

Does the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of effective assistance of counsel require a criminal defense attorney to advise a non-citizen client that pleading guilty to an aggravated felony will trigger mandatory, automatic deportation, and if that misadvice about deportation induces a guilty plea, can that misadvice amount to ineffective assistance of counsel and warrant setting aside the guilty plea?

"At oral argument in Padilla v. Commonwealth of Kentucky (08-651), the Court considered whether the Sixth Amendment provides a remedy to defendants who have been misadvised by their attorneys. Arguing on Mr. Padilla’s behalf, Stephen Kinnaird asserted that his client is entitled to relief because any advice given to a defendant by his attorney with regard to a guilty plea affects criminal liability, and therefore must meet competency standards. Although the Justices expressed reservations concerning the precedent that might be set by such a decision, pressing him to draw a line between “the consequences that count and those that don’t,” Mr. Kinnaird assured them that the use of the Strickland test can address these contextual concerns. Mr. Kinnaird also emphasized the importance of Strickland’s prejudice prong, asserting both that it was met in this case because Mr. Padilla had a reasonable chance of succeeding at trial and that the application of such a standard in similar cases would prevent courts from becoming overwhelmed by challenges to guilty pleas. However, the Justices did express concern that such a ruling would place a burden on courts to inquire into the circumstances of every guilty plea."

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Driver's Licenses For Undocumented Immigrants? Not in Illinois

Driver's Licenses For Undocumented Immigrants?

In Illinois, a social security number is required to apply for a driver’s license, which makes it impossible for illegal immigrants to get one. But it also makes it difficult for some legal aliens to drive. Non-resident aliens—that is, people with H-1B status or other temporary work authorization—are allowed to apply for a social security card, but their spouse or children, who are in the country legally, are not. Therefore, they are also disqualified from obtaining a driver’s license.

On May 11, 2008, the REAL ID Act went into effect, which requires all states to adhere to certain minimum requirements to ensure the security of state-issued licenses and identification cards. One of the stipulations is that states require a social security number for anyone who wishes to get a driver’s license. Recognizing that states needed time to implement REAL ID, the federal government issued extensions until December 2009, with probable further extensions until May 2011. At that time, however, all state-issued identification cards will require a social security number.

1. It appears, at least so far, all courts ruling on the merits of the matter have ruled that it is legal to bar illegal aliens from obtaining drivers’ licenses.

If you have a valid driver's license from another state or country, you may use it to drive in Illinois throughout your stay (if you do not plan to become a permanent resident of this state).

Federal law requires that drivers license applicants provide their Social Security numbers, and those numbers must be verified by the state before they can issue a license. For non-citizens, they must produce their passport and visa proving that they are here legally and have permission to remain for at least one full year beyond the date they receive their license. The license must expire no later than the visa. Anyone with less than one full year remaining on their visa cannot get a drivers license. (Federal Real ID Act of 2005, federal government has pushed back the date of compliance to May 11, 2011)

ICE agents sometimes stake out DMVs looking for illegals -- hope you get caught! And police/state troopers likewise stake out DMVs due to the illicit activities relating to selling bogus licenses and assorted frauds going on. There have been a number of spectacular busts at DMVs
around the country, many of which have been reported in newspapers, online, etc.

2. Illinois does not recognize the international driver's license, according to the Illinois Secretary of State website. http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/drivers_license/dlfaq.html

3. Hawaii, Maryland, New Mexico, and Washington allow drivers to get licenses without proving they are legal residents. In states that allow illegal immigrants to drive — Maryland, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Washington — there have been attempts to reverse course.


What happens when your Immigration Case is Denied? Appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals or Federal Courts from denial by IJ/officer

What Happens If Your Immigration Case is Denied?

The Immigration Act provides the opportunity to appeal decisions of immigration officers or immigration judges to a higher level. How, and which court or agency, your appeal should be directed is the subject of this blog.

The Board of Immigration Appeals is found in Falls Church, Virginia, and as of April 2009 has 14 Board Members, who are administrative judges appointed by the U.S. Attorney General. Three member panels make most decisions, however, the whole board will hear the most important cases. The size of the full BIA varies from time to time, depending on resignations, retirements and new appointments; it may have up to 15 Board Members under the current authorizing legislation. However, following the practice of appellate courts, many decisions of the BIA are by panels that are composed of only a few Board Members.

The Board exercises appellate jurisdiction over various types of actions. These include a review of immigration judges' decisions in removal cases; decisions of USCIS District Directors and immigration judges on waiver applications; relative visa petition denials and approval revocations; bond, parole or detention determinations; and immi gration judges decisions on rescissions of adjustment of status. Also included in BIA review are a wide variety of applications, including fraud waivers under section 212(i) and waivers of inadmissibility under section 212(h). The BIA's review of deportation decisions includes a review over the chosen country of deportation; suspension of deportation (now cancellation) applications; voluntary departure applications; registry determinations; discretionary waiver application determinations; asylum applications; and adjustment of status applications.

Only aggrieved parties have standing to appeal to the Board. In relative visa petition cases, this means only the petitioner (or the petitioner and the beneficiary together) may file the appeal. In removal cases, only the person ordered removed has standing to take an appeal to the BIA. The BIA has broad authority to review both issues of fact and issues of law, to make its own separate findings of fact and to exercise its broad discretionary powers as it sees fit. Usually, however, the Board will accept an immigration judge's findings of fact, on the rationale that the trier of fact had the better opportunity to assess credibility. The BIA generally limits its review to matters in the hearing record, and will not consider new evidence on appeal, absent exceptional circumstances.

You must file a notice of appeal on Form I-290A, with the applicable filing fee. The BIA may waive the filing fee for indigents. Appeals from decisions of immigration judges are filed directly with the BIA, while appeals from decisions of the immigration service are filed with the INS officer who has jurisdiction over the case. You must file the notice of appeal within the time periods specified in the regulations. In deportation cases, the Board must receive the notice within thirty days of the immigration judge's decision. The notice of appeal is not considered filed until it is actually received, with a filing fee. If the last day to file falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, thereafter the period wherein to appeal is extended to the next business day.

You must set out the specific reasons for the appeal on the notice of appeal form. Failure to follow this requirement may result in a summary dismissal by the Board. The Board may also dismiss appeals that are frivolous or filed solely for delay. If oral argument is desired, you must request it in the notice of appeal. The BIA thereafter has discretion whether to grant the request. You may submit a brief with the notice of appeal, or you can request more time, from the Board, wherein to submit your brief on appeal.

The Administrative Appeals Office is in Washington, DC, and is under the jurisdiction of the commissioner of the immigration service. The AAO has jurisdiction over many types of actions including appeals from denials of employment-based preference petitions, appeals from denials of petitions for temporary workers (i.e., E, H, L, O, & P denials), appeals from revocation of approvals of immigrant visa petitions; reentry permit application denials; and appeals from denials of applications for waiver of the two-year foreign residence requirement based on exceptional hardship or fear of persecution.

A single copy of a notice of appeal is filed on INS Form I-290B, with the proper filing fee, within 30 days of the service of notice of the denial. If the service of the denial is by mail, an added three days is added to the 30 days. If the last day to file falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, the period wherein to appeal is extended to the next business day. Appeals should be filed with the local CIS office that issued the denial decision. An appeal is considered "filed" on the date which it is actually received at the CIS office. The notice of appeal must state the specific reasons which the appeal is based. Failure to do this may lead to a summary dismissal of the appeal. An appeal may also be dismissed if it is patently frivolous. If oral argument is requested, specific written reasons must be provided to explain why the argument is needed. A single copy of a brief may be submitted simultaneously with the notice of appeal, or you may submit your brief directly to the AAO within 30 days. In addition, for good cause shown, the AAO may extend the time wherein to file your brief.

The regulations provide that in nonimmigrant or immigrant visa petition cases, only the petitioner has standing to appeal. However, the alien beneficiary may also join in an appeal filed by the petitioner. On an appeal to the AAO, you are not limited to discussing matters in the record below. You may submit new proof without any showing that the proof was unavailable earlier. Also, the regulations provide that the immigration service may, on its own, treat the appeal as a motion to reopen or reconsider.

Motions to Reopen or Reconsider:

An alien may file one motion to reopen or reconsider the decision of an immigration judge, the Board of Immigration Appeals, or the Administrative Appeals Office. For motions to reopen, the motion shall state the new facts that will be proven at a hearing to be held if the motion is granted, and shall be supported by affidavits or other evidentiary material. The motion to reopen shall be filed within 90 days of the date of entry of a final administrative order of removal, however, there is no time limit on the filing of a motion to reopen if the basis of the motion is to apply for asylum or withholding of deportation and is based on changed country conditions arising in the country of nationality or the country whereto removal has been ordered, if such p roof is material and were not available and could not have been found or presented at the previous proceeding.

A motion to reconsider must be filed within 30 days of the date of entry of a final administrative order of removal, and shall state the errors of law or fact in the previous order and shall be supported by relevant authority.

The motion is filed with the judicial body that made the last decision in the case, and must be accompanied by the applicable filing fee. A copy of the motion must be served upon the immigration trial attorney, if applicable.

Federal Court Appeals:

The Immigration Act of 1996 significantly changed many areas of judicial review. In fact, the federal courts are now prevented from reviewing many types of cases over which they previously held authority. In effect, the Act intended to end in many respects the role of the federal courts in immigration matters.

Most of the changes are in section 242 of the immigration act. This section states that the federal courts shall have no jurisdiction to review decisions of immigration officers concerning aliens in expedited removal proceedings. In addition, no court shall have jurisdiction to review any judgment regarding the granting of relief under section 212(h), waiver of inadmissibility for criminal grounds; section 212(i), waiver of inadmissibility for fraud or misrepresentation; section 240A, cancellation of removal; section 240B, voluntary departure; or section 245, adjustment of status. Also, no appeal is permitted for an alien who is inadmissible or deportable because of having committed certain criminal offenses, or whose application for asylum was denied by the immigration service. (It should be pointed out that the constitutionality of many of these new provisions is being tested in the courts now. Therefore, it is possible that some of these new provisions will not stand. If any changes are made, they will be posted immediately to our web site).

When an appeal to the federal courts is permitted, the petition for a review must be filed in the Court of A ppeals, which have jurisdiction over the case, which is the circuit where the immigration judge ended the case. The petition for a review must be filed in the court of appeals within 30 days of the removal order becoming final, and must be accompanied by the applicable filing fee. A copy of the petition must be served upon the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

It must be noted that the filing of the petition for a review does not automatically stay removal of the alien from the United States. Therefore, a motion for a stay of deportation or removal should also be filed with the appeals court.

Once the court of appeals has jurisdiction, it will establish a briefing schedule. These limits can only be changed if the court, for good cause shown, orders differently.

If an alien fails to file a brief within the time called for, the court must dismiss the appeal unless a clear injustice would result. If the decision of an appeals court were not favorable to the alien, the only recourse would be to file a petition to the US Supreme Court.

The “Real ID Act of 2005" was signed into law (Pub. Law No. 109-13) on May 11, 2005, as Division B of the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005, and became effective on the date of enactment.

(Sec. 101) Amends Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provisions concerning asylum to: (1) authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security, in addition to the Attorney General, to grant asylum (retroactive to March 1, 2003); (2) require asylum applicants to prove that race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion was or will be (if removed) the central reason for their persecution; and (3) provide that an applicant's testimony may be sufficient to sustain this burden of proof only if the trier of fact determines that it is credible, persuasive, and fact-specific. Requires corroborating evidence where requested by the trier of fact unless the applicant does not have the evidence and cannot reasonably obtain it without departing the United States. States that the inability to obtain corroborating evidence does not excuse the applicant from meeting his or her burden of proof.

Lists factors relevant to credibility determinations in asylum cases, including (but not limited to) the: (1) demeanor, candor, or responsiveness of the applicant or witness; (2) inherent plausibility of the applicant's or witness' account; (3) consistency between the applicant's or witness' written and oral statements; (4) internal consistency of each such statement; (5) consistency of such statements with other evidence of record (including the Department of State's reports on country conditions); and (6) any inaccuracies or falsehoods in such statements regardless of whether they go to the heart of the applicant's claim. States that there is no presumption of credibility.

Makes this Act's provisions regarding proof requirements and credibility determinations in asylum proceedings applicable to other requests from relief for removal.

Limits judicial review of determinations regarding the availability of corroborating evidence.

Removes the numerical limit on the number of aliens granted asylum whomay become lawful permanent residents in any fiscal year (currently setat 10,000).

Repeals provisions of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA) requiring a study and report on terrorists in the asylum system.

(Sec. 103) Expands the grounds of inadmissibility and deportability due to terrorist or terrorist-related activity to include aliens who: (1) are representatives of terrorist organizations or political, social, or other groups that endorse or espouse terrorist activity; (2) are members of designated terrorist organizations; (3) are members of organizationsthat engage in specified acts of terrorism; (4) endorse or espouse terrorist activity or persuade others to do so; or (5) have received on behalf of any organization that at the time was a terrorist organization.

(Sec. 105) Bars inadmissible arriving aliens from seeking judicial review of removal orders through habeas corpus, mandamus, or other extraordinary petitions.

Imposes a similar bar on denials of discretionary relief and ordersagainst criminal aliens, with an exception for petitions for review concerning constitutional claims or pure questions of law.

Establishes the INA's judicial review provisions as the sole avenue for challenging removal orders and reviewing claims arising under the United Nations Convention Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Requires petitions for review filed under pre-IIRIRA law to be treated as if filed under INA as amended by this section. States that such petitions shall be the sole and exclusive means for judicial review of orders of deportation or exclusion.

(Sec. 106) Sets forth requirements for delivery bonds (guaranteeing delivery of an alien against whom the Department of Homeland Security(DHS) has issued an order to show cause or a notice to appear) and bonding agents. Requires such bonds to expire one year from the date of issue, at cancellation or upon surrender of the principal, or immediately upon nonpayment of the renewal premium. Authorizes annual renewal.

Requires cancellation of delivery bonds and exoneration of the surety:

  • (1) for nonrenewal after the principal's surrender for removal;
  • (2) if the surety or bonding agent provides reasonable evidence of
    misrepresentation or fraud in the bond application;
  • (3) upon the death or incarceration of the principal or the surety's inability to produce
    the principal for medical reasons;
  • (4) if the principal is detained by a law enforcement agency;
  • (5) if it can be established that the principal departed the United States without permission;
  • (6) if the foreign state of which the principal is a national is designated under temporary
    protected status provisions after posting of the bond; or
  • (7) if the principal is surrendered to DHS, upon removal by the surety or bonding agent.

Authorizes the surrender of the principal to DHS for removal at any time, before bond conditions are breached, if the surety or bonding agent believes that the principal has become a flight risk.

States that a principal may be surrendered without the return of any bond premium if the principal: (1) changes address without providing advance written notice to the surety, bonding agent, and Secretary; (2) hides or is concealed from the surety, bonding agent, or Secretary; (3)
fails to report to the Secretary annually; or (4) violates the contract with the bonding agent or surety, commits any act that may lead to a breach of the bond, or otherwise violates bond obligations or

Gives bonding agents or sureties desiring to surrender the principal the
right to:

  • (1) petition the Secretary or any Federal court, without payment of fees or court costs, for an arrest warrant;
  • (2) receive two certified copies of such warrant and the bond undertaking; and
  • (3) pursue, apprehend, detain, and surrender the principal to any DHS detention official or facility or to any detention facility authorized to hold Federal detainees.

Requires all delivery bonds to be secured by a corporate surety that is
certified as an acceptable surety on Federal bonds and whose name
appears on Treasury Department Circular 570 and to set forth specified
information. Requires information about warrants for a principal's
arrest to be entered into the National Crime Information Center

Gives bonding agents or sureties complete access to information about
the principal held by Federal, State, or local governments (or any
related subsidiary or police agency) that the Secretary determines may
be helpful in locating or surrendering the principal.

Establishes graduated penalties for bonding agents and sureties who fail to surrender a principal within 15 months of the issuance of an arrest warrant, subject to waiver. Gives bonding agents or sureties the absolute right to locate, apprehend, arrest, detain, and surrender any principal, wherever he or she may be found, who violates any bond term or condition. Limits total liability on any surety undertaking to the face amount of the bond.

Makes this section applicable to bonds and surety undertakings executed before, on or after the date of enactment of this Act.

(Sec. 107) Requires aliens arrested and detained pending a removal decision to post a delivery bond of at least $10,000 (currently, $1,500) in order to be released from custody, unless an immigration judge orders such alien's release on his or her own recognizance upon a finding that
the alien is not a flight risk and is not a threat to the United States.

(Sec. 108) Requires the Secretary to take into custody any alien subject
to a final order of removal and to cancel bond if the alien is produced
within the prescribed time limit whether or not DHS accepts custody.
States that the obligor on the bond shall be deemed to have
substantially performed all conditions and shall be released from
liability if the alien is produced within such time limit. Makes this
section applicable to all immigration bonds posted before, on, or after
the date of enactment of this Act.

Ruled Line

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Overcharge, deport & destroy: overzealous use of the civil immigration laws & raids is itself quasi "criminal."

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that federal identity-theft law can not be applied against many undocumented workers who used false Social Security numbers to work in the U.S. In Flores-Figueroa v. United States the Supreme Court held that, to convict a defendant of aggravated identity theft — which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison — the government must establish that the person knew the identification belonged to another person. The ruling puts a damper on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency’s (ICE) common and controversial strategy of using identity theft charges as a threat to get undocumented workers to agree to immediate deportation or boost prison sentences

Hundreds rallied to protest the immigration raid in Postville, Iowa that upturned the small town. Most of the nearly 300 undocumented workers arrested will serve jail time. Russ Mitchell reports.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

"Four score and seven years ago," 146th anniversary of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

Thursday, November 19, 1863: "one of the most quoted speeches in United States history, dedicating to the struggle to ensure that 'government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.'"

"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate...we can not consecrate...we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government: of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Lincoln at Gettysburg: the words that remade America, By Garry Wills

Seventh Circuit Vacates Conviction for Gun Possession By a Misdemeanant Convicted of Domestic Violence, Remands for Further Proceedings

U.S. v. Skoien

Skoien was convicted in state court of misdemeanor domestic battery and was placed on probation. About a year later his probation agent found a hunting shotgun in a truck parked outside his home. Skoien admitted he had gone deer hunting that morning and used the shotgun to kill a deer. He argued below and maintains here that prosecuting him under § 922(g)(9) for possessing the shotgun violates his Second Amendment right to bear arms for hunting. He has not, however, asserted a right to possess the gun for self-defense.
"A grand jury indicted Steven Skoien for possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9). Skoien moved to dismiss the indictment, arguing that applying the federal statute to him violated his Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms as explained in District of Columbia v. Heller, 128 S. Ct. 2783 (2008).  The district court denied the motion.  Skoien pleaded guilty but reserved his right to appeal the district court’s denial of his motion to dismiss the indictment. H e now reiterates his Second Amendment challenge to § 922(g)(9)....
Accordingly, we cannot conclude on this record that the government has carried its burden of establishing a reasonable fit between the important objective of reducing domestic gun violence and § 922(g)(9)’s permanent disarmament of all domestic-violence misdemeanants.  In fairness, because Heller did not establish a standard of review, the government did not know what its burden would be.  Like the district court, it proceeded on the assumption that the highest standard of scrutiny applied and then relied almost entirely on conclusory reasoning by analogy from Heller’s reference to the “presumptive” constitutionality of felon-dispossession laws.  That was a mistake, for the reasons we have explained.  In any event, our discussion here of the appropriate standard of review should provide guidance for the proceedings on remand.
Before closing, we offer a few additional observations to help those proceedings along. Intermediate scrutiny tolerates laws that are somewhat overinclusive.  See, e.g., Fox, 492 U.S. at 480; Anheuser-Busch, Inc. v. Schmoke, 101 F.3d 325, 327-28 (4th Cir. 1996) (recognizing that intermediate scrutiny in the commercial-speech context allows some latitude between the regulation and the governmental objective). How much is too much is hard to say; it depends on the scope and reach of the law and how much room it leaves for the exercise of the right.  See Fox, 492 U.S. at 481 (noting “the difficulty of establishing with precision the point at which restrictions become more extensive than their objective requires”).  We note that § 922(g)(9) is overinclusive on several fronts: The firearms prohibition exists indefinitely; it contains no exceptions nor any basis for potential restoration of gun rights; and it does not require an individualized finding of risk that the domestic-violence misdemeanant might use a gun in a future offense.  On the other hand, the statutory definition of “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” limits the applicability of § 922(g)(9)’s firearms disability to those who actually used or attempted to use physical force or threatened the use of a deadly weapon in a domestic disturbance.  See 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(33)(A)(ii). The statute thus targets a specific class of violent offender; only those who have already used or attempted to use force or have threatened the use of a deadly weapon against a domestic victim are banned from possessing firearms.
To summarize, we conclude that intermediate scrutiny applies to Skoien’s Second Amendment challenge to this § 922(g)(9) prosecution.  The government has the burden of establishing a reasonable fit between its important interest in reducing domestic gun violence and the means chosen to advance that interest — § 922(g)(9)’s total disarmament of domestic-violence misdemeanants.  Accordingly, we vacate Skoien’s conviction and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.  If the government successfully discharges its burden, the district court shall reinstate Skoien’s conviction."


20 of Chicago Police Officer Richard Fiorito's DUI cases dropped - 11/16/09

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Matter of Urena #3663, 25 I&N Dec. 140 (BIA 2009) Dangerous aliens are properly detained without bond pending the completion of proceedings

Matter of Urena, Interim Decision #3663, 25 I&N Dec. 140 (BIA 2009)
  1. Dangerous aliens are properly detained without bond pending the completion of proceedings to remove them from the United States.
  2. Only if an alien has established that he would not pose a danger to property or persons should an Immigration Judge decide the amount of bond necessary to ensure the alien’s presence at proceedings to remove him from the United States. 
  3. Where an Immigration Judge characterized an alien seeking release from custody as a “potential” danger to the community but ordered him released upon the posting of a bond amount, the record was remanded for the Immigration Judge to clarify whether the alien met his burden of proving that his release on bond would not pose a danger to property or persons."

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English Asylum Tribunal Approves Asylum for Afghan Who Converted to Christianity in England

English Asylum Tribunal Approves Asylum for Afghan Who Converted to Christianity in England

The case is NM v. Secretary (Nov. 13); an excerpt (paragraph break added):
"We do not think this is an issue as to whether or not an individual in these circumstances is reasonably likely to be discovered on return. The plain fact on the evidence before us is that a genuine apostate, and here we are dealing specifically with conversion from Islam to Christianity, simply would not be able to openly express his change of faith without running a real risk of persecution. The individual would have to keep his faith completely secret; he would have to live a lie; he may be forced to forego contact with others of his faith because of the danger and, significantly, would be constantly looking over his shoulder to avoid discovery in fear of the consequences. In the event it would matter little whether such an individual had family support or not; if discovered the evidence does show that there would be inadequate level of protection available from the Afghan authorities against those who would seek to punish for that conversion. In our view an apostate could not reasonably be expected to tolerate living in this way in Afghanistan in order to reduce the risk of discovery, and it would be persecutory to expect such an individual to modify his behaviour to that end. It may well be that in some societies solitary and or private worship of another faith may be viable because for example although the background evidence reveals a general intolerance in society toward that belief it does not reach a level where there would be a real risk of ill– treatment on discovery. This is not the case for Afghan converts; there is no evidence that they would be able to conduct themselves in this way. In reaching this conclusion we have borne in mind the Tribunal’s guidance in SZ and JM (Christians – FS Confirmed) (CG) [2008] UKAIT 00082 and HJ (Homosexuality: reasonably tolerating living discreetly) Iran [2008] UKAIT 00044, the latter was approved by the Court of Appeal in XY (Iran) v SSHD [2008] EWCA Civ 911."
For more on a case dealing with a similar question in the U.S., see this post, though in that earlier case there were questions about the applicant’s sincerity that do not appear to be present in this case.


Effect of an Order of Supervision pursuant to 8 CFR 241.5 on Unlawful Presence

Aliens Unlawfully Present after Previous Immigration Violations [Chapter 40.9 added May 6, 2009]  40.9 Section 212(a)(9) of the Act 

AFM memo ULP; InfoNet 09051468; pdf page 46:
(6) Effect of an Order of Supervision pursuant to 8 CFR 241.5 on Unlawful Presence

Unless protected by some other provision included in this AFM chapter, an alien present in an unlawful status continues to accrue unlawful presence despite the fact that the alien is subject to an order of supervision under 8 CFR 241.5.

Argue Pearson (3/3/00) tolling memo; InfoNet 00030774: 

(3) Period of Stay Authorized by the Attorney General. The Service has also designated the following as periods of stay authorized by the Attorney General:
Grants of withholding or suspension of deportation, or cancellation of removal;


US News’ law school rankings compared to Avvo’s: Washington University School of Law is ranked 7

US News’ law school rankings compared to Avvo’s - Avvo Blog: "US News’ law school rankings compared to Avvo’s"

"US News and World Report came out with their Law School Rankings in May 2009. How US News maps up to data Avvo accumulated. All in all it maps well, although we think US News is generous to BU."  Washington University School of Law in St. Louis jumps from 18 to 7.

Florida Bar Settles Suit Over Avvo Client Reviews  
from Avvo Blog by Josh King, VP of Business Development and General Counsel

Florida may have a lot of onerous ad regulation, and it may sometimes take a lawsuit to affect change in the Sunshine State, but they’ve made a change for the better today: In settling a suit brought by Florida lawyer Joel Rothman and Public Citizen, Florida has agreed to exempt online directories such as Avvo from most of its ad rules.

Last year, the Florida Bar held that members may run afoul of the state’s prohibition on testimonial advertising by having client reviews on Avvo. Problem is, attorneys don’t control the client reviews on Avvo. Part of Avvo’s mission of transparency in the legal industry is ensuring that clients ultimately decide if reviews appear, and what those reviews say.

What’s great about this settlement is that it goes beyond the obvious – that lawyers can’t be held responsible for reviews left for them on Avvo – and sets forth the principle that directory profiles are information provided at the request of a potential client. Such communication is exempt from the vast majority of Florida’s attorney advertising rules, including limitations on testimonial advertising and referring to past results. Result? Florida lawyers need no longer worry about consumer opinion or otherwise-truthful information that appears in their Avvo profiles. We congratulate all of the parties involved on reaching this commonsense solution.


Official Google Blog: Finding the laws that govern us. Making it possible for an average citizen to educate herself about the laws of the land:

Starting today, Google is enabling people everywhere to find and read full text legal opinions from U.S. federal and state district, appellate and supreme courts using Google Scholar.

Official Google Blog: Finding the laws that govern us

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Google Scholar gives alternative versions of cases. Do advanced searches for Legal opinions and journals

Google Scholar? Search diverse sources for scholarly literature from 1 place, Find papers, abstracts & citations

Google Scholar

Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations. Google Scholar helps you identify the most relevant research across the world of scholarly research.

Features of Google Scholar

* Search diverse sources from one convenient place
* Find papers, abstracts and citations
* Locate the complete paper through your library or on the web
* Learn about key papers in any area of research

How are articles ranked?

Google Scholar aims to sort articles the way researchers do, weighing the full text of each article, the author, the publication in which the article appears, and how often the piece has been cited in other scholarly literature. The most relevant results will always appear on the first page.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Federalist Papers "Publius" - THOMAS (Library of Congress)

The Federalist Papers - THOMAS (Library of Congress): The original text of the Federalist Papers (also known as The Federalist) was obtained from the e-text archives of Project Gutenberg. View or download the entire plain text version of all of the Federalist Papers as supplied by Project Gutenberg. Information and Disclaimer for the Gutenberg version of The Federalist.

The Federalist, commonly referred to as the Federalist Papers, is a series of 85 essays written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison between October 1787 and May 1788. The essays were published anonymously, under the pen name "Publius," in various New York state newspapers of the time.

The Federalist Papers were written and published to urge New Yorkers to ratify the proposed United States Constitution, which was drafted in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787. In lobbying for adoption of the Constitution over the existing Articles of Confederation, the essays explain particular provisions of the Constitution in detail. For this reason, and because Hamilton and Madison were each members of the Constitutional Convention, the Federalist Papers are often used today to help interpret the intentions of those drafting the Constitution.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

How Insufficient Understanding of Web Applications Like Facebook / Twitter Can Free Criminals

Judges Calabresi and Easterbrook Face Off on How to Interpret Statutes: enacting or present day Congress

Schauer on Lie Detection, Neuroscience, Legal and Scientific Norms « Legal Informatics Blog

Amended Google Books Settlement Documents « Legal Informatics Blog

Friday, November 13, 2009

Chicago Students, Looking For Safer Schools, Sue City - Law Blog - WSJ

Immigrant Bill Is Back on Table - WSJ.com

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Criminal facilitation is not an "aggravated felony" as illicit trafficking

In an unpublished decision, the BIA held that a conviction for criminal facilitation in New York does not constitute an illicit trafficking type of aggravated felony. Taylor, A xx-xxx-801, slip op. (BIA Nov. 5, 2009)

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What Immigration Reform Could Do for America

"Out With the Old, In With the New: What Reforming Immigration Could Do For America." Check this video out. The Immigration Policy Center of the American Immigration Council presents:


Monday, November 9, 2009

Haxhiu v. Mukasey, Asylum applicant anticorruption activities a form of political speech, whistleblower must expose corruption publicly 519 F.3d 685

Haxhiu v. Mukasey (7th Cir. 2008)(Flaum)
Oral Argument | Full Text

Whether asylum applicant's anticorruption activities constituted an expression of a political opinion? To receive asylum protection on account of a political opinion, a whistleblower must have sought a political result by going outside of the scope of his official duties and the chain of command. A whistleblower must seek a political result by exposing corruption publicly. That conduct within the scope of one's governmental duties--such as a prosecutor expressing his view within the chain of command and pursuing an investigation--cannot alone constitute political expression. Must establish that the government was either complicit in persecution or unwilling or unable to protect from private parties who persecuted.

The noncitizen, a native and citizen of Albania, applied for asylum and other relief, alleging that he had been persecuted on account of his political opposition to government corruption. The IJ found him credible but denied relief based on a finding that the alien's persecution was not on account of his political opinion and that state actors were not responsible for the harm alleged. Here, the alien had worked for the government and was ultimately fired because of his efforts to resist government corruption. After he was fired, he pursued his opposition of government corruption in the press. His son was beaten badly and his daughter was the victim of an attempted kidnapping. He and his family fled to the United States. The primary issue before the court was whether the harm suffered by the alien was on account of his political opinion and whether the Albanian government was directly or indirectly responsible for his treatment. The court concluded that the alien's anti-corruption efforts were an expression of a political opinion and there was ample evidence in the record that agents of the Albanian government persecuted him in tandem with private actors.

Followed by: Darwich v. Holder, 330 Fed. Appx. 596, 2009 U.S. App. LEXIS 11308 (7th Cir. 2009) LexisNexis Headnotes HN3

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Matter of MARTINEZ ESPINOZA, 25 I&N Dec. 118 (BIA 2009) conviction for possession or use of drug paraphernalia

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Lawyer Michael D. Baker - Chicago, IL Attorney - Justia Lawyer Directory

Michael D. Baker (mikebakerlaw) on Twitter