Steve Y. Koh


Perhaps at no other time is the conflict between administrative agencies and courts placed in starker terms than in instances of nonacquiescence. In general, nonacquiescence refers to an agency's refusal to follow a U.S. court of appeals precedent in subsequent factually similar cases arising within ("intracircuit") or outside ("intercircuit") the circuit which produced the adverse ruling. A nonacquiescence policy reflects a tension between an agency's mandate to achieve uniformity and expediency in its administrative adjudications and the court's obligation to safeguard equally the rights of litigants and nonlitigants. These basic issues have been the subject of considerable academi' and legislative attention. To date, however, there has been no examination in academic circles of the policy and practice of nonacquiescence by the Immigration and Naturalization Service ("INS" or the "Service").

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