Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The relevance of reasonable reliance to retroactivity

In Olatunji v. Ashcroft, the Fourth Circuit in an opinion by Judge Luttig, joined by Judge Michael, with Judge Baldock from the Tenth Circuit dissenting, ruled against the government in an immigration case, concluding that provisions of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act passed in 1996 could not be applied retroactively to provide for his deportation based on his plea of guilty to federal offenses in 1994, regardless of whether the petitioner could show reliance on the prior law.

The dissent says Judge Luttig got it wrong on the relevance of reliance and also got it wrong on whether applying the IIRIRA as was done to the petitioner even involves a question of retroactivity.

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