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SHAUGHNESSY V. ACCARDI, 349 U. S. 280 (1955)

U.S. Supreme Court

Shaughnessy v. Accardi, 349 U.S. 280 (1955)

Shaughnessy v. Accardi

No. 616

Argued April 22, 1955

Decided May 23, 1955

349 U.S. 280


In a hearing granted pursuant to this Court's judgment in 347 U. S. 347 U.S. 260, Accardi sought to prove that denial of his application for suspension of deportation under § 19(e) of the Immigration Act of 1917 was prejudged through issuance by the Attorney General of a confidential list of "unsavory characters," including Accardi, and that, therefore, the Board of Immigration Appeals had not exercised its own discretion, as required by applicable regulations. After a full hearing, the District Court found that the Board members "reached their individual and collective decision on the merits free from any dictation or suggestion," and dismissed the writ of habeas corpus.

Held: the judgment of the District Court is sustained. Pp. 349 U. S. 281-284.

(a) This Court's opinion in 347 U. S. 347 U.S. 260 meant no more than that Accardi's allegations sufficiently charged "dictation" by the Attorney General, and that Accardi was entitled to a hearing on the question whether the Board's denial of discretionary relief represented its own untrammeled decision or one dictated by the Attorney General. P. 349 U. S. 282.

(b) The record fully supports the District Court's conclusion that the Board's decision represented the free and undictated decision of each member. Pp. 349 U. S. 282-283.

(c) In the face of the evidence, speculation on the effect of subconscious psychological pressures provides insufficient justification for rejecting the District Court's finding as "clearly erroneous." P. 349 U. S. 283.

219 F.2d 77 reversed.

Page 349 U. S. 281

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