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May 31, 2006

Amicus Brief: Lopez v. Gonzales

U.S. Supreme Court: Human Rights First filed an amicus brief in the case of Lopez v. Gonzales. This brief highlights the fact that the government’s position in the case would have been inconsistent with U.S. obligations under international law, allowing refugees who had been convicted of minor possession offenses to be deported to persecution, in violation of the Refugee Convention. While the case did not involve asylum seekers in particular, the Supreme Court’s ruling in the case could have had a negative impact on some refugees, and on the interpretation of bars to refugee protection more generally. In December 2006, the Supreme Court found that the federal government was wrong to apply the “drug trafficking” aggravated felony ground to the state felony drug possession conviction at issue in the case. Human Rights First was represented by Gene C. Schaerr, Krista M. Enns, Linda T. Coberly, and Lisa Seilheimer of Winston & Strawn LLP.

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