Supreme Court Rules in Kawashima, Finding That Section 7206 Offenses Can Justify Deportation

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February 27, 2012

The Supreme Court (opinion attached below) has affirmed the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Kawashima, ruling that resident aliens who pled guilty to making (or assisting in making) a false tax return in violation of Code section 7206 had committed “aggravated felonies” that made them deportable.  The vote was 6-3, with Justice Thomas writing the opinion and Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Kagan dissenting.

As we have previously reported, the Kawashima case involves the interplay between two subsections of the deportation statute’s definition of aggravated felonies, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43).  Subsection (M)(i) broadly includes offenses “involv[ing] fraud or deceit”; subsection … Read More

Supreme Court Struggles With Confusing Criminal Tax and Deportation Interplay in Kawashima Oral Argument

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January 6, 2012

We are finally getting around to updating Kawashima, the Supreme Court case involving the question of whether a conviction under section 7206 is a deportable offense under the immigration laws.  The Court heard argument on the case back in November.  The argument transcript can be found here.  Petitioners’ reply brief can be found here.  A decision likely will be issued this spring.  It’s hard to read which way the Court is leaning based on the arguments.  Several Justices seemed to balk at petitioners’ technical argument that a false statement on a return (under section 7206) can be … Read More

Supreme Court Briefs Filed in Kawashima

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October 18, 2011

The petitioners’ and respondent’s briefs have been filed in Kawashima v. Holder, Sup. Ct. Docket No. 10-577, appealing 615 F.3d 1043 (9th Cir. 2010).  As described in our original post, that case involves the question of whether pleas to section 7206 offenses (subscribing to false statements and assisting same) are “aggravated felonies” that result in deportation under the immigration laws.  The case turns largely on the statutory interpretation of the relevant portion of 8 U.S.C. §1101(a)(43)(M).

The petitioners’ position is essentially the same as it was below (although more developed).  The primary argument is based on the language … Read More

Cert Granted in Kawashima

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May 23, 2011

The Supreme Court this morning granted certiorari in one case, Kawashima v. Holder, on which we have been reporting for some time.  See our original post here.  As we observed in our report on the cert petition, the Court always has the option of limiting its grant of certiorari to a subset of the questions presented in the petition, and it has exercised that option here.  The Court will resolve only the first question presented — namely, whether violations of 26 U.S.C. 7206 (subscribing to a false statement on a tax return) are “aggravated felonies” that can justify … Read More

Supreme Court Defers Decision on Kawashima Petition

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May 16, 2011

The Supreme Court was expected to announce this morning whether it would grant certiorari in the Kawashima case, but today’s order list contained no order in the case.  Instead, the Court has “relisted” the petition for consideration at this week’s conference.  That means that the case has caught the Court’s attention and distinguished itself from the mass of cert petitions that are routinely denied, with some of the Justices determining that the petition warrants more careful study.  Although the odds that the petition will be granted have increased, it remains true that most cert petitions are denied, even the ones … Read More

United States Opposes Certiorari in Kawashima

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May 9, 2011

After four extensions, the government finally filed its response to the petition for certiorari in Kawashima.  As we previously reported (see here and here), that petition raises a question on which the courts of appeals are in conflict — whether a tax offense other than tax evasion can be an “aggravated felony” for purposes of the immigration laws, which would justify deportation of a resident alien.  Maybe the government was spending all that extra time considering whether to “acquiesce” in the petition and invite the Supreme Court to resolve the conflict, or maybe it was just taking its … Read More

Update on Kawashima

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February 10, 2011

We noted back in November that the taxpayer had filed a petition for certiorari in Kawashima v. Holder, 615 F.3d 1043 (9th Cir. 2010), on the question whether Code section 7206 offenses provide a basis for deportation — an issue on which the circuits are split.  We stated that the Court could be expected to rule on the petition in early 2011, even if the government obtained a fairly routine 30-day extension of its December 2, 2010 response date.

There is no ruling yet because the government has now obtained three such extensions.  That is fairly unusual and may … Read More

Petition for Certiorari Filed in Kawashima

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November 16, 2010

As we expected, a petition for certiorari has been filed in Kawashima v. Holder, 615 F.3d 1043 (9th Cir. 2010).  To review, that case involves the question of whether pleas by Mr. and Mrs. Kawashima to section 7206 offenses of subscribing to false statements (and assisting same) as to their corporation’s 1991 tax return could be “aggravated felonies” under the immigration laws.  As noted in our initial blog post, the relevant section of 8 U.S.C. §1101(a)(43)(M), if read holistically, would seem to preclude that conclusion but a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit (after changing its mind a … Read More

Supreme Court in the Future for Kawashima?

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September 1, 2010

On August 30, 2010, the Ninth Circuit granted Petitioner’s Motion to Stay the Mandate in Kawashima.  This stays the mandate in the case pending the filing of a petition for writ of certiorari and confirms our prior speculation that petitioner is going to try to make a run at the Supreme Court.  We will be watching the case with interest and will post the petition when it appears.… Read More

It’s No Fun Being a Legal Alien Either (If You Plead to a Tax Crime)

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August 18, 2010

On August 4, 2010, the Ninth Circuit denied panel and en banc rehearing in a case applying 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(M)(i) to hold that a tax offense other than tax evasion is a crime involving fraud or deceit and thus an aggravated felony under the immigration laws (which allows for deportation).  Kawashima v. Holder, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 16125 (9th Cir. Aug. 4, 2010).  This is actually the fourth opinion issued by the Ninth Circuit in the case, appending a three-judge dissent from denial of en banc rehearing to the third panel opinion issued back in January 2010. Kawashima Read More