Calcano-Martinez v. INS
533 U.S. 348 (2001)

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OCTOBER TERM, 2000

Syllabus

CALCANO-MARTINEZ ET AL. v. IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT

No. 00-1011. Argued April 24, 200l-Decided June 25, 2001

Petitioners are lawful permanent United States residents subject to administratively final removal orders because they were convicted of aggravated felonies. Each filed a petition for review in the Second Circuit pursuant to 8 U. S. C. § 1252(a)(1) and a habeas corpus petition in the District Court pursuant to 28 U. S. C. § 2241 in order to challenge the Board of Immigration Appeals' determination that, as a matter of law, they were ineligible to apply for a discretionary waiver of deportation under former § 212(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The Second Circuit dismissed their petitions for lack of jurisdiction, holding that they could nevertheless pursue their claims in a § 2241 action in district court.

Held: The Second Circuit lacked jurisdiction to hear the petitions for direct review, but petitioners can proceed with their habeas petitions if they wish to obtain relief. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 expressly precludes courts of appeals from exercising jurisdiction to review a final removal order against an alien removable by reason of a conviction for, inter alia, an aggravated felony. 8 U. S. C. § 1252(a)(2)(C). This plain language explicitly strips the courts of appeals of the ability to hear petitioners' claims on direct review. However, because Congress has not spoken with sufficient clarity to strip the district courts of jurisdiction to hear habeas petitions raising identical claims, see INS v. St. Cyr, ante, at 314, petitioners may pursue their claims in a § 2241 action. pp. 350-352.

232 F.3d 328, affirmed.

STEVENS, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which KENNEDY, SOUTER, GINSBURG, and BREYER, JJ., joined. O'CONNOR, J., filed a dissenting opinion, post, p. 352. SCALIA, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which REHNQUIST, C. J., and THOMAS, J., joined, post, p. 352.

Lucas Guttentag argued the cause for petitioners. With him on the briefs were Lee Gelernt, Steven R. Shapiro, Jayashri Srikantiah, Kerry W Bretz, Jules E. Coven, Alan Michael Strauss, and Paul A. Engelmayer.


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Deputy Solicitor General Kneedler argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were Acting Solicitor General Underwood, Acting Assistant Attorney General Schiffer, Paul R. Q. Wolfson, Donald E. Keener, William J. Howard, Ernesto H. Molina, and James A. O'Brien III. *

JUSTICE STEVENS delivered the opinion of the Court. Deboris Caleano-Martinez, Sergio Madrid, and Fazila Khan are all lawful permanent residents of the United States subject to administratively final orders of removal. They conceded that they are deportable based upon their past criminal convictions, but each filed both a petition for review in the Second Circuit pursuant to 8 U. S. C. § 1252(a)(1) (1994 ed., Supp. V) and a habeas corpus petition in the District Court pursuant to 28 U. S. C. § 2241 in order to challenge the Board of Immigration Appeals' determination that, as a matter of law, petitioners were ineligible to apply for a discretionary waiver of deportation under former § 212(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 66 Stat. 182, 8 U. S. C. § 1182(c) (1994 ed.). Their petitions for review were consolidated in the Court of Appeals, which subsequently dismissed the petitions for lack of jurisdiction, holding that petitioners could nevertheless pursue their constitutional and statutory claims in a district court habeas action brought pursuant to 28 U. S. C. § 2241. 232 F.3d 328 (CA2 2000). We granted certiorari in this case, 531 U. S. 1108 (2001), and in INS v. St. Cyr, 531 U. S. 1107 (2001), in order to comprehensively consider whether aliens in the petitioners' position may seek relief in the Court of Appeals (pursuant to 8 U. S. C. § 1252(a)(1)); in the district court (pursuant to 28 U. S. C. § 2241); or not at all. For the reasons stated below and in our opinion in INS v. St. Cyr, ante, p. 289, we agree with the Court of Appeals that it lacks jurisdiction to hear

*Martha W Barnett, Jeffrey L. Bleich, Gerald Neuman, and Kelly M.

Klaus filed a brief for the American Bar Association as amicus curiae.


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Full Text of Opinion

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