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Immigration Law

2007

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The Better Part Of Valor: The Real Id Act, Discretion, And The “Rule” Of Immigration Law, Daniel Kanstroom Feb 2007

The Better Part Of Valor: The Real Id Act, Discretion, And The “Rule” Of Immigration Law, Daniel Kanstroom

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This article considers the problems raised by a federal law--the “REAL ID Act”--that seeks to preclude judicial review of discretionary immigration law decisions. Discretion, the flexible shock absorber of the administrative state, must be respected by our legal system. However, as Justice Felix Frankfurter once wrote, discretion is, “only to be respected when it is conscious of the traditions which surround it and of the limits which an informed conscience sets to its exercise.” The article suggests that judicial construction of the REAL ID Act will plumb the deep meaning of this qualification. The new law states, essentially, that ...