Block on Trump's Asylum Ban Upheld by Supreme Court
In US v. Colbert, No. 08-3243, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's possession of child pornography conviction, holding that 1) although the search warrant affidavit was not a model of detailed police work, it set forth a number of specific facts and explains the investigation that took place; 2) the state court judge could reasonably have concluded that the facts in the affidavit established a fair probability that child pornography would be found in defendant's apartment; and 3) there is no indication that the state court judge failed to perform his proper judicial function or that the officers in this case acted other than in good faith when they carried out the search.
In US v. Williams, No. 09-1939, the Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute MDMA and money laundering, on the grounds that 1) there was sufficient evidence that defendant wanted not only to shield himself from reporting requirements but also to actively conceal the nature or source of the funds; 2) the district court did not abuse its discretion by providing the jury with an instruction that did not define "proceeds" as the profits of the drug trafficking operation; 3) there was no clear error in the district court's calculation of drug quantity attributable to defendant; and 4) the district court made an individualized assessment in sentencing based on all facts presented, addressing defendant's proffered information in its considerations of the 18 U.S.C. section 3553(a) factors.
Litvinov v. Holder, No. 09-2351, involved a petition for review of the BIA's order affirming the immigration judge's (IJ) denial of petitioners' application for asylum and withholding of removal. The Eighth Circuit denied the petition, on the ground that 1) the IJ's decision stated the accurate legal standard for asylum; 2) all that petitioners presented was generalized, subjective evidence that they genuinely feared persecution upon their return to Belarus; and 3) a reasonable fact finder would not be compelled to find that petitioners had a well-founded fear of persecution based on the evidence presented at the hearing.