United States Accardi v. Shaughnessy, No. 366

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtCLARK
Citation74 S.Ct. 499,98 L.Ed. 681,347 U.S. 260
Decision Date15 March 1954
Docket NumberNo. 366
PartiesUNITED STATES ex rel. ACCARDI v. SHAUGHNESSY

347 U.S. 260
74 S.Ct. 499
98 L.Ed. 681
UNITED STATES ex rel. ACCARDI

v.

SHAUGHNESSY.

No. 366.
Argued Feb. 2, 1954.
Decided March 15, 1954.

Mr.

Page 261

Jack Wasserman, Washington, D.C., for petitioner.

Mr. Marvin E. Frankel, Washington, D.C., for respondent.

Mr. Justice CLARK delivered the opinion of the Court.

This is a habeas corpus action in which the petitioner attacks the validity of the denial of his application for suspension of deportation under the provisions of § 19(c) of the Immigration Act of 1917.1 Admittedly deport-

Page 262

able, the petitioner alleged, among other things, that the denial of his application by the Board of Immigration Appeals was prejudged through the issuance by the Attorney General in 1952, prior to the Board's decision, of a confidential list of 'unsavory characters' including petitioner's name, which made it impossible for him 'to secure fair consideration of this case.' The District Judge refused the offer of proof, denying the writ on the allegations of the petitioner without written opinion. A divided panel of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed. 206 F.2d 897. We granted certiorari. 346 U.S. 884, 74 S.Ct. 138.

The Justice Department's immigration file on petitioner reveals the following relevant facts. He was born in Italy of Italian parents in 1909 and entered the United States by train from Canada in 1932 without immigration inspection and without an immigration visa. This entry clearly falls under § 14 of the Immigration Act of 19242 and is the uncontested ground for deportation. The deportation proceedings against him began in 1947. In 1948 he applied for suspension of deportation pursuant to § 19(c) of the Immigration Act of 1917. This section as amended in 1948 provides, in pertinent part, that:

'In the case of any alien (other than one to whom subsection (d) of this section is applicable) who is deportable under any law of the United States and who has proved good moral character for the preceding five years, the Attorney General may * * * suspend deportation of such alien if he is not ineli-

Page 263

gible for naturalization or if ineligible, such ineligibility is solely by reason of his race, if he finds (a) that such deportation would result in serious economic detriment to a citizen or legally resident alien who is the spouse, parent, or minor child of such deportable alien; or (b) that such alien has resided continuously in the United States for seven years or more and is residing in the United States upon July 1, 1948.'

Hearings on the deportation charge and the application for suspension of deportation were held before officers of the Immigration and Naturalization Service at various times from 1948 to 1952. A hearing officer ultimately found petitioner deportable and recommended a denial of discretionary relief. On July 7, 1952, the Acting Commissioner of Immigration adopted the officer's findings and recommendation. Almost nine months later, on April 3, 1953, the Board of Immigration Appeals affirmed the decision of the hearing officer. A warrant of deportation was issued the same day and arrangements were made for actual deportation to take place on April 24, 1953.

The scene of action then shifted to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. One day before his scheduled deportation petitioner sued out a writ of habeas corpus. District Judge Noonan dismissed the writ on April 30 and his order, formally entered on May 5, was never appealed. Arrangements were then made for petitioner to depart on May 19.3 However, on May 15, his wife commenced this action by filing a petition for a second writ of habeas corpus.4 New

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grounds were alleged, on information and belief, for attacking the administrative refusal to suspend deportation.5 The principal ground is that on October 2, 1952—after the Acting Commissioner's decision in the case but before the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals—the Attorney General announced at a press conference that he planned to deport certain 'unsavory characters'; on or about that date the Attorney General prepared a confidential list of one hundred individuals, including petitioner, whose deportation he wished; the list was circulated by the Department of Justice among all employees in the Immigration Service and on the Board of Immigration Appeals; and that issuance of the list and related publicity amounted to public prejudgment by the Attorney General so that fair consideration of petitioner's case by the Board of Immigration Appeals was made impossible. Although an opposing affidavit submitted by government counsel denied 'that the decision was based on information outside of the record' and contended that the allegation of prejudgment was 'frivolous,' the same counsel repeated in a colloquy with the

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court a statement he had made at the first habeas corpus hearing 'that this man was on the Attorney General's proscribed list of alien deportees.'

District Judge Clancy did not order a hearing on the allegations and summarily refused to issue a writ of habeas corpus. An appeal was taken to the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit with the contention that the allegations required a hearing in the District Court and that the writ should have been issued if the allegations were proved. A majority of the Court of Appeals' panel thought the administrative record amply supported a refusal to suspend deportation; found nothing in the record to indicate that the administrative officials considered anything but that record in arriving at a decision in the case; and ruled that the assertion of mere 'suspicion and belief' that extraneous matters were considered does not require a hearing. Judge Frank dissented.

The same questions presented to the Court of Appeals were raised in the petition for certiorari and are thus properly before us. The crucial question is whether the alleged conduct of the Attorney General deprived petitioner of any of the rights guaranteed him by the statute or by the regulations issued pursuant thereto.

Regulations6 with the force and effect of law7 supplement the bare bones of § 19(c). The regulations prescribe the procedure to be followed in processing an alien's application for suspension of deportation. Until

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the 1952 revision of the regulations, the procedure called for decisions at three separate administrative levels below the AttorneyGeneral—hearing officer, Commissioner, and the Board of Immigration Appeals. The Board is appointed by the Attorney General, serves at his pleasure, and operates under regulations providing that: 'in considering and determining * * * appeals, the Board of Immigration Appeals shall exercise such discretion and power conferred upon the Attorney General by law as is appropriate and necessary for the disposition of the case. The decision of the Board * * * shall be final except in those cases reviewed by the Attorney General. * * *' 8 CFR § 90.3(c) (1949). See 8 CFR § 6.1(d)(1) (Rev. 1952). And the Board was required to refer to the Attorney General for review all cases which:

'(a) The Attorney General directs the Board to refer to him.

'(b) The chairman or a majority of the Board believes should be referred to the Attorney General for review of its decision.

'(c) The Commissioner requests be referred to the Attorney General by the Board and it agrees.' 8 CFR § 90.12 (1949). See 8 CFR § 6.1(h)(1)...

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901 practice notes
  • Justice Department, Immigration and Naturalization Service,
    • United States
    • Federal Register August 26, 2002
    • 26 August 2002
    ...of the Board * * * shall be final except in those cases reviewed by the Attorney General.'' United States ex rel. Accardi v. Shaughnessy, 347 U.S. 260, 266 (1954). In that case, the Court initially found sufficient cause for a further hearing on whether the Attorney General had interfered w......
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America v. Immigration and Naturalization Service, Civil Action 02-01297 (HHK) (D. D.C. 10/30/2003), Civil Action 02-01297 (HHK).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • 30 October 2003
    ...that the INS exercise its discretion rather than deciding it has no discretion."); accord United States ex rel. Accardi v. Shaughnessy, 347 U.S. 260, 268 (1954) (distinguishing between the failure to use discretion and the exercise of same); cf. Stehney v. Perry, 101 F.3d 925, 933 (3d Cir. ......
  • Mathews v. Choptank Cmty. Health Sys., Civil No. ELH-20-1255
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Maryland)
    • 28 December 2020
    ...it "failed to abide by the statute" and violated the "Accardi doctrine." ECF 51 at 18; see United States ex rel. Accardi v. Shaugnessy, 347 U.S. 260, 268 (1954). Under the MHWFA, Maryland employers with 15 or more employees are required to provide "an employee with earned sick and safe leav......
  • Alappat, In re, No. 92-1381
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
    • 29 July 1994
    ...decisional authority of the board and refrain from attempting to influence its decisions. United States ex rel. Accardi v. Shaughnessy, 347 U.S. 260, 266, 74 S.Ct. 499, 503, 98 L.Ed. 681 (1954) (once the Attorney General has delegated authority to rule on deportation orders to the Board of ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
890 cases
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America v. Immigration and Naturalization Service, Civil Action 02-01297 (HHK) (D. D.C. 10/30/2003), Civil Action 02-01297 (HHK).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • 30 October 2003
    ...that the INS exercise its discretion rather than deciding it has no discretion."); accord United States ex rel. Accardi v. Shaughnessy, 347 U.S. 260, 268 (1954) (distinguishing between the failure to use discretion and the exercise of same); cf. Stehney v. Perry, 101 F.3d 925, 933 (3d Cir. ......
  • Mathews v. Choptank Cmty. Health Sys., Civil No. ELH-20-1255
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Maryland)
    • 28 December 2020
    ...it "failed to abide by the statute" and violated the "Accardi doctrine." ECF 51 at 18; see United States ex rel. Accardi v. Shaugnessy, 347 U.S. 260, 268 (1954). Under the MHWFA, Maryland employers with 15 or more employees are required to provide "an employee with earned sick and safe leav......
  • Alappat, In re, No. 92-1381
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
    • 29 July 1994
    ...decisional authority of the board and refrain from attempting to influence its decisions. United States ex rel. Accardi v. Shaughnessy, 347 U.S. 260, 266, 74 S.Ct. 499, 503, 98 L.Ed. 681 (1954) (once the Attorney General has delegated authority to rule on deportation orders to the Board of ......
  • C.J.L.G. v. Sessions, No. 16-73801
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • 29 January 2018
    ...liberty where an IJ fails to provide the amount of process guaranteed by Congress. United States ex rel. Accardi v. Shaughnessy , 347 U.S. 260, 268, 74 S.Ct. 499, 98 L.Ed. 681 (1954) (courts have an independent obligation to ensure that the Board affords aliens the due process set forth in ......
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3 firm's commentaries
  • FinCEN Amends Willful FBAR Regulations
    • United States
    • Mondaq United States
    • 30 December 2021
    ...at his discretion for a willful FBAR violation. Id. at 181. Moreover, the dissent cited United States ex rel. Accardi v. Shaughnessy, 347 U.S. 260 (1954), for the principle that agency regulations are permitted to limit an agency's discretion beyond the statutory constraints. Id. Thus, the ......
  • FinCEN Amends Willful FBAR Regulations
    • United States
    • Mondaq United States
    • 30 December 2021
    ...at his discretion for a willful FBAR violation. Id. at 181. Moreover, the dissent cited United States ex rel. Accardi v. Shaughnessy, 347 U.S. 260 (1954), for the principle that agency regulations are permitted to limit an agency's discretion beyond the statutory constraints. Id. Thus, the ......
  • The Sixth Circuit's Ultra Vires Opinion In Whirlpool'What Now?
    • United States
    • Mondaq United States
    • 18 April 2022
    ...Financial Corp., 154 TC 142, Dec. 61,661, 154 TC No. 9 (2020). 5 19 F.4th at 952-53. 6 United States ex. rel. Accardi v. Shaughnessy, 347 US 260, 74 SCt 499 (1954) (Agency must abide by its own valid and applicable regulations); Mutual Savings Life Insurance, CA-5, 74-1 ustc ¶9208, 488 F2d ......
7 books & journal articles
  • Waters of the United States' and the Agricultural Production Sector: Sweeping Change or More of the Same?
    • United States
    • Environmental Law Reporter Nbr. 46-9, September 2016
    • 1 September 2016
    ...provision for a reasonable interpretation made by the administrator of an agency. 157. See United States ex rel. Accardi v. Shaughnessy, 347 U.S. 260, 267 (Mar. 15, 1954) (On how the agency has to follow its own regulations in a proceeding considering appeals: “We think the petition for hab......
  • ELIMINATING THE FUGITIVE DISENTITLEMENT DOCTRINE IN IMMIGRATION MATTERS.
    • United States
    • Notre Dame Law Review Vol. 97 Nbr. 3, March 2022
    • 1 March 2022
    ...Attitudes, supra note 332, at 99. (334) 8 U.S.C. [section] 1252(a)(2)(D) (2018). (335) See United States ex rel. Accardi v. Shaughnessy, 347 U.S. 260, 266-67 (1954) (stating that the BIA and AG are bound by agency (336) Matter of Garcia-Flores, 17 I&N Dec. 325, 327-28 (BIA 1980) (noting......
  • Administering the National Environmental Policy Act
    • United States
    • Environmental Law Reporter Nbr. 45-4, April 2015
    • 1 April 2015
    ...other readily changeable tools. 431 425. See Magill, supra note 79, at 1394. 426. See e.g. , United States ex rel. Accardi v. Shaughnessy, 347 U.S. 260, 265-67 (1954); Service v. Dulles, 354 U.S. 363, 383-89 (1957); Vitarelli v. Seaton, 359 U.S. 535, 540, 545-46 (1959). he norm governs cabi......
  • ADMINISTRATIVE SABOTAGE.
    • United States
    • Michigan Law Review Vol. 120 Nbr. 5, March 2022
    • 1 March 2022
    ...employees of the Directorate of Logistics was not subject to judicial review). (266.) See United States ex rel. Accardi v. Shaughnessy, 347 U.S. 260, 266-68 (1954); Thomas W. Merrill, The Accardi Principle, 74 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 569, 569 (267.) Strengthening Transparency in Pivotal Science ......
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