Johnson v. Shaughnessy
336 U.S. 806 (1949)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Johnson v. Shaughnessy, 336 U.S. 806 (1949)

Johnson v. Shaughnessy

No. 506

Argued April 19-20, 1949

Decided May 9, 1949

336 U.S. 806

Syllabus

1. A board of special inquiry appointed pursuant to § 17 of the Immigration Act of 1917 as amended, 8 U.S.C. § 153, is bound to accept as final a certificate that an alien is a mental defective of a class excluded from admission to the United States by § 3, 8 U.S.C. § 136(d), where such certificate has been issued by a medical appeal board after a fair hearing in conformity with § 16, 8 U.S.C. § 152, and regulations of the Public Health Service prescribed pursuant thereto. P. 336 U. S. 809.

2. A report of a medical appeal board appointed pursuant to § 16 of the Immigration Act of 1917 as amended, 8 U.S.C. § 152, to review a finding of two medical officers that an alien seeking admission to the United States is mentally defective does not comply with the applicable law and regulations where it fails to show that the appeal board based its findings and conclusion "on its medical examination of the alien," and merely shows that it considered the appeal and, after "taking into consideration" the certificate of the medical officers who made the original examination and the testimony of an alienist employed by the alien, concurred

Page 336 U. S. 807

in the report of the medical officers who made the first examination. Pp. 336 U. S. 809-812.

(a) The appeal board could not rest its finding that the alien was a mental defective on the certificate of the original examining officers, since the Act and regulations prescribe an independent review and reexamination. P. 336 U. S. 812.

(b) The statement of the appeal board that it had "considered the appeal" cannot be treated as a certification that the alien had been given an independent medical examination. P. 336 U. S. 812.

3. Assuming, without deciding, that defects in the appeal board's report could be cured by additional data in the record, the data in the record in this case is not sufficient to cure the defect. Pp. 336 U. S. 812-815.

170 F.2d 1009 reversed.

In a habeas corpus proceeding challenging the validity of the detention of an alien under an exclusion order issued by a board of special inquiry under the Immigration Act of 1917 as amended, the District Court discharged the writ and ordered the alien remanded to the immigration authorities. 82 F.Supp. 36. The Court of Appeals affirmed. 170 F.2d 1009. This Court granted certiorari. 336 U.S. 924. Reversed and remanded, p. 336 U. S. 815.

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