Unpacking the Rise in Crimmigration Cases at the Supreme Court
Posted: 3 Jun 2021
Date Written: April 24, 2020
Why has the Supreme Court recently granted more writs of certiorari in
cases concerning the complex legal test known as the categorical analysis than it has
in the last ten years? As background for the uninitiated, the categorical analysis is a
tool used by adjudicators to determine when immigration consequences or federal
sentencing enhancements are triggered by prior convictions. It is an often
misunderstood—and consequently misapplied—analysis that has befuddled
adjudicators for decades. The Supreme Court has decided to reaffirm and refine the
legal test in several cases over the last few terms. The Court will have the
opportunity to do so again this term in two cases, Pereida v. Barr and Shular v.
United States. This Article examines several factors that may elucidate why the
Court has recently taken a growing interest in the categorical analysis.
Keywords: crimmigration, immigration, conviction, litigation, federalism, SCOTUS, Pereida, Shular
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