Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dirty dancer not deportable

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is at it again, deciding that nude dancing is not "categorically" a crime of moral turpitude and cause for deportation.

The story caught my eye because it might be of more than passing interest to some people locally now that immigration has gone federal. Well... it didn't hurt that they put 'moral turpitude' in the subheading. That woke me up better than a cup of coffee, almost guaranteeing a string of my favorite adjectives: vile, wicked base acts, depravity.

I was disappointed, sorely. The decision didn't even discuss the 'lewd act' that one Victor Ocegueda Nunez committed to get convicted of indecent exposure (I looked).

This all came up because Ocegueda, an illegal immigrant, was petitioning on hardship grounds to remain in the U.S. with his wife and children. Ah, but two moral turpitudes and you are out. The first was a petty theft conviction. Surprisingly draconian, or as Judge Stephen Reinhardt puts it with more judicial precision: "Go figure." That left the indecent exposure conviction and a descent into sophistry.

Instead of the facts of the case we are treated to an analog of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. It's easy to see why the Ninth Circuit gets slapped down so often.

Ordinarily, I would probably disagree with dissenting Judge Jay Bybee. Reading between the lines, it wouldn't be a stretch if he thought all dancing was lewd and lascivious. Still, it's hard to argue with "Whatever Ocegueda did to get himself convicted of indecent exposure, we can be fairly confident that it involved more than being a nude dancer at a bar or a 'tasteless prank'." This is California, folks.

Now I'll have that coffee.


Anonymous said...
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Tokyo Scotty said...

Dammit, Jim, I cudanot said it better.


KAP said...

2nd is probably spam, too. Can't read Japanese and it doesn't have a 'live' link.

Peter Jennings said...

Nope, 2nd is not spam, it is commentary on first.

Jane said...

I read 9th Circuit opinions all the time and am inured to them. Glad to have a fresh and funny review--almost like a book review!