Anne E. Pettit


This note examines the extreme deference the Court gives to Congress in the realm of immigration legislation. The author argues that, in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, the Supreme Court's analysis of stare decisis, precedent and the rule of law provides a strikingly effective paradigm through which to view the history of Supreme Court immigration rulings. Viewed through the Court's own analysis of its power to make and revise precedent decisions, the immigration plenary power doctrine's jurisprudential shortcomings become more evident and the arguments to overturn the doctrine become more powerful. This Note concludes that no principled constitutional or prudential consideration upholds the Supreme Court's extraordinarily deferential approach to immigration legislation. It further concludes that the Court should review immigration legislation by the same standards it applies to any other act of Congress.