Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Doherty

PETITIONER: Immigration and Naturalization Service
RESPONDENT: Doherty
LOCATION: Etowah County Commission

DOCKET NO.: 90-925
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1991-1993)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

CITATION: 502 US 314 (1992)
ARGUED: Oct 16, 1991
DECIDED: Jan 15, 1992

ADVOCATES:
Maureen E. Mahoney - on behalf of the Petitioner
Mary Boresz Pike - on behalf of the Respondent
Richard L. Thornburgh - for denying reopening, that respondent had waived his claims for relief by withdrawing them at the first hearing to obtain a tactical advantage

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Doherty

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - October 16, 1991 in Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Doherty

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - January 15, 1992 in Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Doherty

William H. Rehnquist:

I have the opinions of the Court to announce in two cases.

The first one is No. 90-925, INS versus Doherty.

Joseph Doherty entered the United States surreptitiously in 1982 after escaping from a prison in Northern Ireland where he was convicted of murdering a British officer.

The petitioner in this case, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, located Doherty in this country and began deportation proceedings against him.

On appeal by the INS for an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals that Doherty be deported to Ireland, the Attorney General denies Doherty's designation of Ireland as the country of deportation, denied Doherty's motion to reopen his deportation proceedings, and ordered that he be deported to the United Kingdom.

The Attorney General relied on independent grounds for denying reopening.

Among them, that Doherty had failed to present new evidence in support of his motion and that Doherty had waived his claims by withdrawing them at the first deportation hearing.

The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the order of the Attorney General denying Doherty's designation of Ireland but held that the Attorney General had abused his discretion in denying the motion to reopen.

Today, we reverse the Court of Appeals and hold the Attorney General did not abuse his discretion in denying Doherty's motion to reopen.

I, along with Justices White, Blackmun, and O'Connor, conclude that the Attorney General acted within his discretion to decide that neither the change in Irish extradition law nor the denial of Doherty's designation of Ireland qualified as new material to support the reopening.

The Attorney General did not abuse his discretion by concluding that Doherty should have known his designation might be rejected.

I conclude joined by Justice Kennedy that the Attorney General did not abuse his discretion in finding that Doherty had withdrawn his claim to secure a tactical advantage and that this did not constitute a reasonable explanation for failing to pursue the claims at the first hearing.

Justice Scalia has filed an opinion concurring in the judgment in part and dissenting in part, in which Justices Stevens and Souter have joined.

Justice Thomas took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.