INS v. St. Cyr

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In INS v. St. Cyr, 533 U.S. 289, 305 (2001), the U.S. Supreme Court held that a writ of habeas corpus under § 2241 was necessary to avoid implicating the Suspension Clause.[1]

After passage of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), 110 Stat. 1214, and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), 110 Stat. 3009-546, courts lacked jurisdiction to review final orders of removal for aggravated felons. St. Cyr, 533 U.S. at 297. In allowing a § 2241 remedy, St. Cyr reasoned that a regime precluding any judicial review of "pure questions of law" would be constitutionally suspect under the Suspension Clause. Id. at 305. St. Cyr also indicated that habeas relief might not be required if Congress provided "an adequate substitute through the courts of appeals." Id. at 314 n.38.


  1. See Rivera, 394 F.3d at 1137.