Monday, March 09, 2009

Robinson: rehearing en banc denied

Robinson v. Napolitano is the Third Circuit case in which the court ruled that the surviving spouse of a United States citizen is no longer an immediate relative once the citizen-spouse dies (and therefore can only obtain legal permanent residence by meeting specific requirements for widows and widowers of United States citizens, which Ms. Robinson did not).

According to Surviving Spouses Against Deportation, which has information at, on March 3, 2009, the Third Circuit denied Ms. Robinson's request for en banc review. The Third Circuit explained that none of the three judges who decided the case through a three-judge panel voted for en banc review. In addition, there was not a majority of judges of the overall Third Circuit who wanted en banc review.

The Surviving Spouses Against Deportation web site announces that they will file a petition for certiorari with the United States Supreme Court within the next 90 days. They say the odds that the Supreme Court will hear the case is 4% -- it doesn't exactly work like that, where someone can figure out the odds right at the start.

But let's just say that the vast majority of cases that seek Supreme Court review are denied. Because some other circuits have a different view, the odds of review might be higher in this case rather than the usual case seeking review, but the odds unfortunately might still be slim.


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