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News Posted on June 2, 2017

Dean Johnson Comments for Bloomberg BNA on Plenary Power Doctrine

Dean Kevin R. Johnson commented for Bloomberg BNA on the plenary power doctrine and how it may be interpreted in light of challenges to President Trump’s executive orders on immigration. 

The doctrine, which holds that the executive and legislative branches have sole power to regulate immigration, has been used in the past to justify discriminatory immigration laws such as the Chinese Exclusion Act, but the past century has brought a “constitutional revolution” and subsequent cases have limited the plenary power doctrine’s application. The challenge to Trump’s executive order could be the case that prompts the Supreme Court to “defang” the doctrine, said Johnson.

Kevin R. Johnson is Dean and Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law and Chicana/o studies at UC Davis School of Law. He is an internationally recognized scholar in the fields of immigration law and policy, refugee law, and civil rights.