Court Decides Gutierrez, Taniguchi - U.S. Supreme Court
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Court Decides Gutierrez, Taniguchi

As June approaches, and the case year comes to a close, the Supreme Court opinions will start rolling in. It’s only 36 days until the last day of the term, and the Court has yet to release opinions in 22 of the 69 cases argued this year.

Monday, the Nine issued three Supreme Court opinions. We already covered the Court’s decision in Astrue v. Capato in this blog; now we’re moving on to the other two cases decided this week, Holder v. Gutierrez and Taniguchi v. Kan Pacific Saipan, Ltd.

In Holder v. Gutierrez, the Court unanimously held that the length of parents’ lawful U.S. residence cannot be considered by the federal government in deciding whether their children should be deported.

One of the named parties in the opinion — Respondent Carlos Gutierrez — illegally entered the country with his family in 1989, when he was 5 years old. His father was lawfully admitted to the country as a lawful permanent resident (LPR) in 1991, but Gutierrez was not given LPR status until 2003.

Two years later, Gutierrez was apprehended for smuggling undocumented aliens across the border. He admitted the offense, and sought cancellation of removal. The Immigration Judge concluded that Martinez Gutierrez qualified for relief because of his father’s immigration history, even though Gutierrez could not satisfy the satisfy the requirements of 8 U.S.C. §1229b(a) — lawful permanent resident status for at least 5 years and at least 7 years of continuous residence in the United States after a lawful admission — on his own. Relying on Escobar, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) reversed and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals remanded the case for reconsideration.

Monday, the Supreme Court reversed the Ninth Circuit, holding that the BIA’s interpretation of §1229b was based on a permissible interpretation of the law that was consistent with the statute’s text and entitled to deference, reports Reuters.

The other Supreme Court opinion this week addressed translation fees. In c, the Court ruled that document translation fees, unlike interpretation costs, cannot be assigned to the losing party in the case.

Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the 6-3 majority, heavily relied on dictionaries when interpreting a 1978 statute that allows a litigation winner to collect interpretation costs, reports The Wall Street Journal.

According to the opinion, interpretation refers to the translation of oral communications, while translation applies only to writings.

We’re expecting at least one more Supreme Court opinion this week, so keep checking this space for updates on decisions and orders.

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