Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tijani v. Holder (9th Cir. - March 11, 2010)

There are a lot of great Ninth Circuit decisions today. But I want to mention this one, which will get less publicity, and thus may well be overlooked.

Except by the Ninth Circuit itself. Since this one will, and should, go en banc.

It's a perfect storm. The opinion is a 1-1-1. The petitioner, who wants asylum, is totally unsympathetic. The author of the "majority" opinion (Judge Noonan), does one thing that the right wing will like (finding that credit card fraud its categorically an offense of moral turpitude) but another that it'll hate (ordering the IJ to decide whether the petitioner should be granted asylum but to assume that everything he says is true). Judge Tashima disagrees with (1) and argues that this holding is in "open defiance" with an en banc ruling last year. Judge Callahan disagrees with (2). In short, it's an opinion that no one other than Judge Noonan likes.

Which is why it almost certainly won't stand.

So read this one while you can. It'll set the stage for an interesting fight later this year.