Nasrallah v. Barr, Attorney General

Summarized by:

  • Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Procedure
  • Date Filed: October 18, 2019
  • Case #: 18-1432
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, 2019 WL 626456 (unpublished).
  • Full Text Opinion

Whether the courts of appeals possess jurisdiction to review factual findings underlying denials of withholding (and deferral) of removal relief.

Petitioner grew up in Lebanon as a part of the religious minority Druze, who are frequently targeted for violence by the Hezbollah. Petitioner was a victim of terror perpetrated by Hezbollah members in 2005. They shot their guns in the air and Petitioner sustained serious injuries when he jumped off a cliff to avoid capture. Petitioner entered the US in 2006 and became a lawful, permanent resident in 2007. In 2013, he was convicted of receiving property stolen in interstate commerce.  The government initiated removal proceedings against Petitioner. The Immigration Judge (IJ) granted Petitioner a deferral of removal, finding that Petitioner would likely suffer future harm in Lebanon if removed. The government appealed arguing that Petitioner voluntarily jumped off the cliff. The Board of Immigration Appeals affirmed the IJ’s denial of asylum and withholding of removal, but vacated the IJ’s grant of deferral of removal, holding that because they did not point their weapons at Petitioner, Hezbollah had not intended to physically harm him. The Eleventh Circuit denied and dismissed in part, holding that a determination of future harm is a finding of fact and it lacked jurisdiction to review the argument.  Petitioner appeals, arguing that the courts of appeal are deeply divided over whether they have jurisdiction to review factual findings underlying denials of withholding relief and this case is the ideal vehicle to resolve this question.

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