Sale v. Haitian Centers Council, Inc.

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Sale v. Haitian Centers Council
Seal of the United States Supreme Court
Argued March 2, 1993
Decided June 21, 1993
Full case nameSale, Acting Commissioner, Immigration and Naturalization Service, et al., Petitioners
Haitian Centers Council, Inc.
Citations509 U.S. 155 (more)
113 S. Ct. 2549; 125 L. Ed. 2d 128; 1993 U.S. LEXIS 4247
Neither 243(h) nor Article 33 limits the President's power to order the Coast Guard to repatriate undocumented aliens intercepted on the high seas.
Court membership
Chief Justice
William Rehnquist
Associate Justices
Byron White · Harry Blackmun
John P. Stevens · Sandra Day O'Connor
Antonin Scalia · Anthony Kennedy
David Souter · Clarence Thomas
Case opinions
MajorityStevens, joined by Rehnquist, White, O'Connor, Scalia, Kennedy, Souter, Thomas

Sale v. Haitian Centers Council, 509 U.S. 155 (1993), is a case in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the President's executive order that all aliens intercepted on the high seas could be repatriated was not limited by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 or Article 33 of the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.

Originally, the United States and the Haitian government made an agreement in 1981 to stop all vessels coming to the United States and return any undocumented aliens who were not refugees and would not be harmed upon return.

After a regime change in Haiti, American policy changed and was interpreted that all undocumented aliens would be sent back unless they landed and made an entry onto the territory of the United States.

The case came before the court on March 2, 1993, and was decided on June 21, 1993. The oral argument for the plaintiff was made by then Yale law professor Harold Koh (from 2009 to 2013, Koh was the Legal Adviser of the Department of State).

The 8–1 decision was delivered by Justice John Paul Stevens with Justice Harry Blackmun dissenting, and overturned a decision of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

A slightly different case with the name Haitian Centers Council v. Sale was argued and won by Koh's team of law students from Yale before Judge Sterling Johnson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Lead counsel was provided on a pro bono basis by Joe Tringali of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. However, this decision was later vacated due to a negotiated settlement deal made by the Clinton Administration and Yale Law School. The full background and details of both cases are found in the book Storming the Court by Brandt Goldstein.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Jones, Thomas David (1994). "Sale v. Haitian Centers Council, Inc.". The American Journal of International Law. American Society of International Law. 88 (1): 114–126. doi:10.2307/2204028. JSTOR 2204028.
  • 'Storming the Court', Goldstein, Brandt, 2005 (Scribner, paperback) ISBN 0-7432-3001-9

External links[edit]