102 Iowa L. Rev. Online 41 (2016)
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The Article compares the Justice Department’s historical treatment of removal cases that involve individuals who qualify as refugees, but who are implicated in terrorists acts, to decisions by the European Court of Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Committee in similar situations. This comparison is used to challenge an accepted wisdom in the discipline. While the United States is generally viewed as exceptional in its refusal to sign onto international human rights treaties, it is not an outlier in this case. I show, first, that even those states that consented to the jurisdiction of human rights enforcement bodies, are, in fact, unlikely to toe the line. They, much like the United States, will refuse to provide safe haven to individuals involved in acts of terrorism and violence, regardless of their human rights commitments. Second, and related, this political reality leaves human rights courts and quasi-judicial institutions in an intractable situation: an impossible choice between a decision that is politically unsustainable and one that is normatively unjustifiable. I argue that it is important to be honest and realistic about the political limits of the law, especially as such cases that bear on both terrorism and asylum become ever more prevalent.

This is a Response piece to Advancing Executive Branch Immigration Policy Through the Attorney General's Review Authority, 101 Iowa L. Rev. 841 (2016). 

Friday, January 15, 2016