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Woodby v. Immigration and Naturalization Service

Supreme Court of the United States
385 U.S. 276 (1966)


Facts

In Woodby, the Supreme Court consolidated two cases: Sherman and Woodby. In both of these cases, the plaintiffs were aliens who were ordered deported. The issue was what burden of proof the government needed to sustain in a deportation proceeding. In Sherman, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit had originally determined that the government has the burden of proving the facts supporting deportability beyond a reasonable doubt. The court then reversed itself in a rehearing en banc, holding that the government need only prove its case with “reasonable, substantial, and probative evidence.” In Woodby, the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit did not explicitly state what the government’s burden of proof should be, but found that the Board’s evidence was supported by “reasonable, substantial, and probative evidence.” The Supreme Court granted certiorari to resolve the issue of burden of proof.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Stewart, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Dissent (Clark, J.)

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