Shomberg v. United States, No. 48

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtCLARK
PartiesLouis SHOMBERG, Petitioner, v. UNITED STATES of America
Docket NumberNo. 48
Decision Date04 April 1955

348 U.S. 540
75 S.Ct. 509
99 L.Ed. 624
Louis SHOMBERG, Petitioner,

v.

UNITED STATES of America.

No. 48.
Argued March 1, 1955.
Decided April 4, 1955.

Mr.

Alan Y. Cole, Washington, D.C., for petitioner.

Mr. Gray Thoron, Washington, D.C., for respondent.

Page 541

Mr. Justice CLARK delivered the opinion of the Court.

The precise issue in this proceeding is whether petitioner, who filed his petition for naturalization two days before the effective date of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, 66 Stat. 163, 8 U.S.C. § 1101 et seq., 8 U.S.C.A. § 1101 et seq., may compel a final hearing on the same before the determination of deportation proceedings instituted after the effective date of the Act and based solely on grounds initiated by that Act. The 'priority provision' of the Act, § 318, states 'no petition for naturalization shall be finally heard * * * if there is pending against the petitioner a deportation proceeding.' 66 Stat. 244, 8 U.S.C. § 1429, 8 U.S.C.A. § 1429.1 But petitioner claims that the savings clause of the Act, § 405, 66 Stat. 280, 8 U.S.C. § 1101, note, 8 U.S.C.A. § 1101 note, which we considered in United States v. Menasche, 348 U.S. 528, 75 S.Ct. 513, preserves his eligibility for citizenship under prior law, and that final hearing thereon cannot be delayed by reason of the pendency of the subsequently instituted deportation action. Both the trial court, 115 F.Supp. 336, and the Court of Appeals, 210 F.2d 82, decided against the petitioner. We granted certiorari, 348 U.S. 811, 75 S.Ct. 24, in order to determine the relationship between § 318 and § 405 of the 1952 Act.

On October 1, 1952, petitioner submitted to the Immigration and Naturalization Service a preliminary application to file a petition for naturalization, Form N—400.

Page 542

Following a preliminary examination, he filed his petition for naturalization on December 22, 1952, two days before the effective date of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. The prenaturalization investigation disclosed that petitioner had a criminal record; he had been convicted of grand larceny in 1913 and of manslaughter in 1915. Section 241(a) of the 1952 Act subjects aliens to deportation if they are convicted 'at any time after entry * * * of two crimes involving moral turpitude, not arising out of a single scheme of criminal misconduct.' 66 Stat. 204, 8 U.S.C. § 1251(a)(4), 8 U.S.C.A. § 1251(a)(4). On June 22, 1953, a warrant of arrest was issued against petitioner, based on his 1913 and 1915 convictions, charging as grounds for deportation petitioner's presence in the country in violation of § 241(a)(4). The deportation proceedings were in progress when on July 28, 1953, petitioner, through an order to show cause filed in this case, moved to compel a final hearing on his petition for naturalization, and, in the interim, to stay the deportation proceedings. Relying on § 318, supra, the district judge denied the motion and the Court of Appeals affirmed.

Petitioner's main argument is that under § 405(a) nothing contained in the new Act, 'unless otherwise specifically provided therein, shall be construed to affect * * * any status, condition, right in process of acquisition * * * done or existing, at the time this Act shall take effect.' Petitioner was eligible for citizenship under the prior law and remains eligible under the new Act. But under the prior law petitioner was not deportable. Petitioner argues that the deportation proceeding, based solely on § 241(a) of the new Act,2 is adversely affecting a right protected by § 405(a), to wit, his inchoate right to citizen-

Page 543

ship. This, he claims, is in direct contravention of the terms of § 405(a) unless some other section in the Act 'otherwise specifically provide(s).' Section 318, advanced as just such an exception, says 'Notwithstanding the provisions of section 405(b) * * *,' and makes no mention of § 405(a). Thus, petitioner concludes, § 318 is not a specific exception to the protection afforded his rights by § 405(a), and if he is to vindicate his rights under that section he must prevail in the present proceedings.

We agree with petitioner that, absent a specific provision to the contrary, he has rights protected by § 405(a). These stem from the filing of his Form N—400, from his petition for naturalization, and, perhaps, from his fulfillment of the five-year residence requirement. United States v. Menasche, 348 U.S. 528, 75 S.Ct. 513. But we hold that § 318 specifically excepts rights under the prior law from the protection of § 405 when these rights stem from a petition for naturalization or from some other step in the naturalization process.3

The practice previous to the enactment of a priority provision in the immigration and nationality laws was for both the deportation and naturalization processes to proceed along together until either petitioner's deportation or naturalization ipso facto terminated the possibility of the other occurring. See United States v. Waskowski, 7 Cir., 158 F.2d 962. And in the few instances where deportations were stayed in order to permit aliens to obtain a

Page 544

hearing under a recently enacted naturalization provision, the remedy was by habeas corpus after the termination of the deportation proceedings and after a stay had been denied in those proceedings. United States ex rel. Walther v. District Director of Immigration and Naturalization, 2 Cir., 175 F.2d 693; Petition of Kavadias, 7 Cir., 177...

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84 practice notes
  • City & Cnty. of S.F. v. Trump, No. 17-17478
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • August 1, 2018
    ...Court, by rescuing the constitutionality of a measure, would override clear and specific language. See, e.g. , Shomberg v. United States , 348 U.S. 540, 547–48, 75 S.Ct. 509, 99 L.Ed. 624 (1955) (refusing to "nullify" "clear legislative purpose" to give effect to a savings clause). This pri......
  • United States v. Hoellger, No. 225
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • January 13, 1960
    ...of naturalization petitions would defeat and destroy the plain meaning of that section." The companion case of Shomberg v. United States, 348 U.S. 540, 75 S.Ct. 509, 512, 99 L.Ed. 624, does not indicate a contrary result. In Shomberg the Court merely indicated that the clause in section 318......
  • Bark v. U.S. Forest Serv., Civil Action No.: 12–1505 (RC)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • March 28, 2014
    ...section.” See Cisneros v. Alpine Ridge Grp., 508 U.S. 10, 18, 113 S.Ct. 1898, 123 L.Ed.2d 572 (1993) (citing Shomberg v. United States, 348 U.S. 540, 547–48, 75 S.Ct. 509, 99 L.Ed. 624 (1955)). However, courts applying this principle have been careful to adhere to more general canons of sta......
  • Bark v. U.S. Forest Serv., Civil Action No.: 12–1505 RC
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • March 28, 2014
    ...section.” See Cisneros v. Alpine Ridge Grp., 508 U.S. 10, 18, 113 S.Ct. 1898, 123 L.Ed.2d 572 (1993) (citing Shomberg v. United States, 348 U.S. 540, 547–48, 75 S.Ct. 509, 99 L.Ed. 624 (1955) ). However, courts applying this principle have been careful to adhere to more general canons of st......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
84 cases
  • City & Cnty. of S.F. v. Trump, No. 17-17478
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • August 1, 2018
    ...Court, by rescuing the constitutionality of a measure, would override clear and specific language. See, e.g. , Shomberg v. United States , 348 U.S. 540, 547–48, 75 S.Ct. 509, 99 L.Ed. 624 (1955) (refusing to "nullify" "clear legislative purpose" to give effect to a savings clause). This pri......
  • United States v. Hoellger, No. 225
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • January 13, 1960
    ...of naturalization petitions would defeat and destroy the plain meaning of that section." The companion case of Shomberg v. United States, 348 U.S. 540, 75 S.Ct. 509, 512, 99 L.Ed. 624, does not indicate a contrary result. In Shomberg the Court merely indicated that the clause in section 318......
  • Bark v. U.S. Forest Serv., Civil Action No.: 12–1505 (RC)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • March 28, 2014
    ...section.” See Cisneros v. Alpine Ridge Grp., 508 U.S. 10, 18, 113 S.Ct. 1898, 123 L.Ed.2d 572 (1993) (citing Shomberg v. United States, 348 U.S. 540, 547–48, 75 S.Ct. 509, 99 L.Ed. 624 (1955)). However, courts applying this principle have been careful to adhere to more general canons of sta......
  • Bark v. U.S. Forest Serv., Civil Action No.: 12–1505 RC
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • March 28, 2014
    ...section.” See Cisneros v. Alpine Ridge Grp., 508 U.S. 10, 18, 113 S.Ct. 1898, 123 L.Ed.2d 572 (1993) (citing Shomberg v. United States, 348 U.S. 540, 547–48, 75 S.Ct. 509, 99 L.Ed. 624 (1955) ). However, courts applying this principle have been careful to adhere to more general canons of st......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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