by Kameron John­ston1

The inter­sec­tion of immi­gra­tion law and crim­i­nal law has increas­ing­ly been referred to as crim­mi­gra­tion. This expres­sion is appro­pri­ate because indi­vid­u­als caught in the crosshairs of these two legal sys­tems are sub­ject­ed to exces­sive­ly harsh con­se­quences, such as depor­ta­tion.2 Fed­er­al immi­gra­tion law has pro­gres­sive­ly premised depor­ta­tion orders on pri­or con­vic­tions, which effec­tive­ly inter­twines removal pro­ceed­ings with the crim­i­nal process.3 The Immi­gra­tion and Nation­al­i­ty Act (“INA”) is the con­trol­ling statute of immi­gra­tion reg­u­la­tion and sets forth grounds for depor­ta­tion. One par­tic­u­lar­ly trou­bling pro­vi­sion makes any “crime involv­ing moral turpi­tude” (“CIMT”) com­mit­ted with­in five years of admis­sion a deportable offense.4 The vague CIMT lan­guage, applied cat­e­gor­i­cal­ly, rub­ber­stamps the removal of law­ful per­ma­nent residents.

This Con­tri­bu­tion argues that the CIMT pro­vi­sion of the INA is a vio­la­tion of the Due Process Clause of the Con­sti­tu­tion because it is void for vagueness.


The Fifth Amend­ment to the Unit­ed States Con­sti­tu­tion guards against the depri­va­tion of “life, lib­er­ty, or prop­er­ty, with­out due process of law.”5 The void for vague­ness doc­trine, an out­growth of the Fifth Amend­ment, inval­i­dates laws that fail to pro­vide notice of what they pro­hib­it and encour­age arbi­trary and dis­crim­i­na­to­ry enforce­ment.6 The doc­trine requires that any statute be defined “with suf­fi­cient def­i­nite­ness that ordi­nary peo­ple can under­stand what con­duct is pro­hib­it­ed and in a man­ner that does not encour­age arbi­trary and dis­crim­i­na­to­ry enforce­ment.”7 Although the doc­trine has not tra­di­tion­al­ly been applied to immi­gra­tion statutes, the Ses­sions v. Dimaya Court con­firmed its applic­a­bil­i­ty to the INA.8 The “grave nature of depor­ta­tion” and the ever-widen­ing arrest-to-depor­ta­tion-pipeline war­rants apply­ing the doc­trine to immi­gra­tion statutes.9 In the cur­rent con­sti­tu­tion­al order, “a vague law is no law at all,” and immi­gra­tion laws are no excep­tion.10

In 2015, the void for vague­ness doc­trine was revis­it­ed when the Supreme Court deemed the Armed Career Crim­i­nal Act resid­ual clause void for vague­ness. The clause defined “vio­lent felony” as “any felony that involves con­duct that presents a seri­ous poten­tial risk of phys­i­cal injury to anoth­er.”11 The Court found that the resid­ual clause pos­sessed two con­demn­ing fea­tures that “conspire[d] to make it uncon­sti­tu­tion­al­ly vague.”12 First, the pro­vi­sion was cat­e­gor­i­cal­ly applied, thus any judi­cial assess­ment of what con­sti­tut­ed a “seri­ous poten­tial risk” was inex­tri­ca­bly bound to a hypo­thet­i­cal “ordi­nary case” rather than the spe­cif­ic facts of the case at hand.13 Sec­ond, the clause gave no guid­ance on the lev­el of risk required to be con­sid­ered “seri­ous.”14 As such, any accused person’s actu­al con­duct was irrel­e­vant to the inquiry, which instead turned on a judges’ fab­ri­cat­ed deter­mi­na­tion of an “ordi­nary instance” of a crime.15

Courts in the immi­gra­tion con­text also pro­ceed with­out regard to the actu­al facts of the con­vic­tion in ques­tion.16 Under the cat­e­gor­i­cal analy­sis, a court deter­mines the min­i­mum con­duct that has a real­is­tic prob­a­bil­i­ty of being pros­e­cut­ed under the statute of con­vic­tion and then ascer­tains whether moral turpi­tude is intrin­sic to that min­i­mum offense.17 The analy­sis pre­cludes adju­di­ca­tors from eval­u­at­ing the fac­tu­al basis of an under­ly­ing crim­i­nal con­vic­tion and instead asks whether the ele­ments of a vio­lat­ed crim­i­nal statute trig­ger a statu­to­ry ground for removal.18 But John­son held that this lev­el of judi­cial abstrac­tion, com­bined with the impre­cise lan­guage of the “seri­ous poten­tial risk” stan­dard, fails to meet the demands of due process.

The sec­ond fea­ture that doomed the resid­ual clause in John­son was the futile ven­ture of deter­min­ing how much risk it takes for a crime to qual­i­fy as a vio­lent felony.19 The Supreme Court empha­sized that splits among low­er fed­er­al courts indi­cat­ed vague­ness.20 The Court also explained that even if “there is some con­duct that clear­ly falls with­in the provision’s grasp,” the pro­vi­sion is not immune from a vague­ness chal­lenge.21 The INA is sim­i­lar­ly silent on the thresh­old lev­el of immoral­i­ty that makes a crime a CIMT. For more than a cen­tu­ry, Con­gress has rel­e­gat­ed the task of flesh­ing out the provision’s mean­ing to the Board of Immi­gra­tion Appeals (“BIA”) and the judi­cia­ry.22 The BIA has con­struct­ed a sim­u­lacrum of a work­able def­i­n­i­tion of CIMT: con­duct that is “inher­ent­ly base, vile, or depraved, and con­trary to the accept­ed rules of moral­i­ty and the duties owed between per­sons or to soci­ety in gen­er­al.”23 The def­i­n­i­tion is cir­cuitous, and mea­sur­ing moral turpi­tude is just as mer­cu­r­ial as mea­sur­ing “seri­ous risk” in John­son.24

Despite ardu­ous attempts to define its con­tours, courts have not estab­lished coher­ent cri­te­ria to mea­sure the thresh­old lev­el at which a crime becomes a CIMT.25 The fac­tors used by courts to define CIMTs “approach gib­ber­ish.”26 Schol­ars have cat­a­logued an exten­sive list of con­vic­tions that may or may not be a CIMT.27 But moral­i­ty is a noto­ri­ous­ly sub­jec­tive notion that invites judges to jug­gle eth­i­cal, social, and reli­gious beliefs.28 For exam­ple, cir­cuit courts were once split on whether mis­rep­re­sent­ing a social secu­ri­ty num­ber as one’s own is a CIMT.29 Judges have described efforts to dis­cern what lev­el of immoral­i­ty makes a crime a CIMT as a “con­sis­tent fail­ure,”30 “defy­ing com­mon sense,”31 “mean­ing­less”32 and “an embar­rass­ment to a mod­ern legal sys­tem.”33 As the Court rec­og­nized in John­son, such imprac­ti­ca­bil­i­ty is a pit­fall that should read­i­ly be rec­og­nized as uncon­sti­tu­tion­al vague­ness. This is com­pound­ed by the hypo­thet­i­cal nature of the cat­e­gor­i­cal approach.

In Ses­sions v. Dimaya, the Supreme Court extend­ed Johnson’s void for vague­ness frame­work to a near­ly iden­ti­cal resid­ual clause in the INA.34 This con­firms that the vague­ness doc­trine applies—at a minimum—to immi­gra­tion laws that result in depor­ta­tion or removal. Under the INA, any for­eign nation­al con­vict­ed of an aggra­vat­ed felony is deportable.35 Like the Armed Career Crim­i­nal Act, the def­i­n­i­tion of an aggra­vat­ed felony includ­ed a “crime of vio­lence” resid­ual clause.36 The Ses­sions Court assessed and con­firmed that the INA’s “def­i­n­i­tion of ‘crime of vio­lence’ suffer[ed] from the same con­sti­tu­tion­al defect” present in John­son.37 Like John­son, the chal­lenged resid­ual clause used “an ordi­nary-case require­ment and an ill-defined risk thresh­old.”38 Thus, Ses­sions con­firmed that the same exact­ing void for vague­ness stan­dard applied to crim­i­nal sen­tenc­ing statutes also applies to immi­gra­tion laws. Legal schol­ars have inter­pret­ed the jurispru­den­tial shift in John­son and Ses­sions to indi­cate that the CIMT pro­vi­sion of the INA is ripe for recon­sid­er­a­tion.39

The indis­crim­i­nate imple­men­ta­tion of the CIMT pro­vi­sion fails to pro­vide fair notice and invites arbi­trary enforce­ment. In oral rear­gu­ment for Ses­sions, Jus­tice Ali­to asked the petitioner’s coun­sel whether, if giv­en a list of offens­es, they could cat­e­go­rize any of them as a CIMT.40 Jus­tice Ali­to vehe­ment­ly assert­ed that he him­self “couldn’t do that . . . . doubt[s] that some­body who’s fac­ing pos­si­ble removal con­se­quences would be able to answer that ques­tion.”41 When ordi­nary peo­ple can­not under­stand what legal con­se­quences attach to their con­duct, then that law fails to meet due process require­ments.42 If a Supreme Court jus­tice charged with inter­pret­ing the law can­not make sense of the CIMT pro­vi­sion, it is incon­ceiv­able that an aver­age per­son would be able to do so. For exam­ple, no dis­cern­able rea­son­ing can be deduced as to why ille­gal­ly down­load­ing music is a CIMT but fail­ing to reg­is­ter as a sex offend­er is not.43 Many offens­es are incon­sis­tent­ly deemed CIMTs.44

Even though the INA’s CIMT pro­vi­sion shares some of the con­sti­tu­tion­al incon­sis­ten­cies that were present in John­son and Ses­sions, the CIMT pro­vi­sion has escaped scruti­ny under the void for vague­ness doc­trine in the past because of a fun­da­men­tal mis­read­ing of the Supreme Court’s deci­sion in Jor­dan v. De George. Despite a resound­ing “cho­rus of voic­es” call­ing for the recon­sid­er­a­tion of whether the CIMT pro­vi­sion is uncon­sti­tu­tion­al­ly vague, low­er courts have felt pre­clud­ed from doing so by the rul­ing in Jor­dan.45 In that case, the Court nar­row­ly upheld the con­sti­tu­tion­al­i­ty of the CIMT phrase, but not­ed that “[f]raud [was] the touch­stone” of the opin­ion.46 The Jor­dan Court under­scored that “[w]hatever else the phrase ‘crime involv­ing moral turpi­tude’ may mean in periph­er­al cas­es, the decid­ed cas­es make it plain that crimes in which fraud was an ingre­di­ent have always been regard­ed as involv­ing moral turpi­tude.”47 Low­er courts have mis­con­strued this hold­ing to pre­clude any void for vague­ness chal­lenge to the CIMT provision—regardless of the crime.48 How­ev­er, the Court did not intend for its deter­mi­na­tion to extend to “periph­er­al cas­es.”49 Instead, the Court con­fined its deci­sion strict­ly to “crimes in which fraud was an ingre­di­ent.”50 There­fore, the Supreme Court has not addressed the gen­er­al con­sti­tu­tion­al­i­ty of CIMTs because Jordan’s lan­guage defin­i­tive­ly cab­ins the hold­ing to a par­tic­u­lar con­vic­tion: fraud.

Even if Jor­dan fore­closed void for vague­ness chal­lenges to the CIMT pro­vi­sion, it should be over­turned in light of John­son and Ses­sions. The prin­ci­ple of stare deci­sis “does not mat­ter for its own sake,” but only “because it ‘pro­motes the even­hand­ed, pre­dictable, and con­sis­tent devel­op­ment of legal prin­ci­ples.’”51 The CIMT pro­vi­sion, by stark con­trast, pro­duces unpre­dictable and incon­sis­tent results.52 In a scathing dis­sent near­ly sev­en­ty years ago, Jus­tice Jack­son wrote, “[t]he chief impres­sion from the [moral turpi­tude] cas­es is the caprice of the judg­ments.”53 Even at that time, Jus­tice Jack­son knew that the inquiry turned on a judge’s moral reac­tions to a par­tic­u­lar offense.54


The Supreme Court has warned of the dan­gers of a leg­is­la­ture cast­ing such a wide net that it catch­es all pos­si­ble offend­ers, and then rel­e­gat­ing to the courts the task of impli­cat­ing some and set­ting oth­ers free.55 Forty years ago, the Supreme Court rec­og­nized the inevitable arbi­trary enforce­ment that the CIMT phrase invites, albeit in the con­text of vot­ing rather than immi­gra­tion law.56 In Hunter v. Under­wood, an Alaba­ma state con­sti­tu­tion­al pro­vi­sion stripped the right to vote from per­sons con­vict­ed of “any crime . . . involv­ing moral turpi­tude.”57 In that case, the Court found that the CIMT pro­vi­sion was manip­u­lat­ed to inten­tion­al­ly tar­get and dis­en­fran­chise Black vot­ers.58 CIMT pro­vi­sions encour­age exploit­ing their lan­guage to inflate or shrink the scope of con­vic­tions that fall with­in the def­i­n­i­tion of a CIMT, invit­ing dis­crim­i­na­to­ry and arbi­trary enforce­ment.59 The CIMT pro­vi­sion in the immi­gra­tion con­text has become a “col­lat­er­al sanc­tion­ing mech­a­nism,” by which law­ful per­ma­nent res­i­dents are chan­neled into the arrest-to-depor­ta­tion-pipeline with lit­tle hope of escap­ing.60 The CIMT pro­vi­sion vio­lates the Due Process man­date that the law afford indi­vid­u­als, includ­ing law­ful per­ma­nent res­i­dents, fair notice of pro­hib­it­ed con­duct and pro­tec­tion from arbi­trary enforce­ment.61


The mal­leabil­i­ty of the INA’s CIMT pro­vi­sion pro­vides offi­cials and judges with dis­cre­tion to apply it to offens­es they per­son­al­ly think are base, vile, or depraved. This out­mod­ed pro­vi­sion is pre­dis­posed to arbi­trary enforce­ment that rein­forces the exceed­ing­ly puni­tive crim­mi­gra­tion sys­tem. Though immi­gra­tion laws have been insu­lat­ed from some con­sti­tu­tion­al chal­lenges in the past, the recent frame­work in John­son and Ses­sions com­pels the appli­ca­tion of the crim­i­nal void for vague­ness stan­dard to immi­gra­tion laws. To safe­guard the integri­ty of Fifth Amend­ment pro­tec­tions, the Supreme Court should hold that the CIMT pro­vi­sion is void for vagueness.


1. Kameron John­ston is a J.D. Can­di­date (2021) at New York Uni­ver­si­ty School of Law. This piece is a com­men­tary on the prob­lem pre­sent­ed at the 2020 Wech­sler Moot Court Com­pe­ti­tion in Buf­fa­lo, NY. The ques­tion pre­sent­ed asked whether the phrase “[c]rimes involv­ing moral turpi­tude” (“CIMT”) used in 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(i) as grounds for removal of for­eign nation­als, includ­ing law­ful per­ma­nent res­i­dents, is void for vagueness.

2. Jor­dan v. De George, 341 U.S. 223, 243 (1951) (Jack­son, J., dis­sent­ing) (describ­ing depor­ta­tion as a “life sen­tence of exile from what has become home, of sep­a­ra­tion from his estab­lished means of liveli­hood for him­self and his fam­i­ly of Amer­i­can citizens”).

3. Ses­sions v. Dimaya, 138 S. Ct. 1204, 1213 (2018).

4. 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(i).

5. U.S. CONST. amend. V.

6. City of Chi. v. Morales, 527 U.S. 41, 56 (1999).

7. Kolen­der v. Law­son, 461 U.S. 352, 357 (1983).

8. Ses­sions, 138 S. Ct. at 1213 (stat­ing that “the most exact­ing vague­ness stan­dard should apply in removal cases”).

9. Jor­dan v. De George, 341 U.S. 223, 231 (1951).

10. Unit­ed States v. Davis, 139 S. Ct. 2319, 2323 (2019).

11. John­son v. Unit­ed States, 576 U.S. 591, 593 (2015) (quot­ing 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B)).

12. Id. at 597.

13. Id.

14. Id. at 596 (not­ing that a court looks at “how the law defines the offense and not in terms of how an indi­vid­ual offend­er might have com­mit­ted it on a par­tic­u­lar occasion”).

15. Id. at 597.

16. Mel­louli v. Lynch, 135 S. Ct. 1980, 1986 (2015) (not­ing a judge “looks to the statu­to­ry def­i­n­i­tion of the offense of con­vic­tion, not to the par­tic­u­lars of an alien’s behavior”).

17. See Orte­ga-Lopez v. Lynch, 834 F.3d 1015, 1017 (9th Cir. 2016) (“We have rec­og­nized that whether a crime is a CIMT is a ‘neb­u­lous ques­tion that we are required to answer on the basis of judi­cial­ly estab­lished cat­e­gories of crim­i­nal conduct.’”(quoting Nunez v. Hold­er, 594 F.3d 1124, 1127 (9th Cir. 2010))).

18. Philip L. Tor­rey, Unpack­ing the Rise in Crim­mi­gra­tion Cas­es at the Supreme Court, 44 N.Y.U. REV. L. & SOC. CHANGE 109, 109 (2020).

19. See John­son, 576 U.S. at 598 (not­ing that “the fail­ure of ‘per­sis­tent efforts . . . to estab­lish a stan­dard’ can pro­vide evi­dence of vague­ness” (quot­ing Unit­ed States v. L. Cohen Gro­cery Co., 255 U.S. 81, 91 (1921))).

20. See id. at 601–02 (“Nine years’ expe­ri­ence try­ing to derive mean­ing from the resid­ual clause con­vinces us that we have embarked upon a failed enterprise.”).

21. See id. at 602 (reject­ing the notion “that a vague pro­vi­sion is con­sti­tu­tion­al mere­ly because there is some con­duct that clear­ly falls with­in the provision’s grasp”).

22. See Jor­dan v. De George, 341 U.S. 223, 242 (1951) (Jack­son, J., dis­sent­ing) (“Appar­ent­ly, Con­gress expect­ed the courts to deter­mine the var­i­ous crimes includ­able in this vague phrase. We think that not a judi­cial function.”).

23. Mat­ter of Orte­ga-Lopez, 27 I. & N. Dec. 382, 386 (B.I.A. 2018).

24. Com­pare In re Khourn, 21 I. & N. Dec. 1041, 1046 (B.I.A. 1997) (“‘[E]vil intent’ is a req­ui­site ele­ment for a crime involv­ing moral turpi­tude.”), with In re Med­i­na, 15 I. & N. Dec. 611, 614 (B.I.A. 1976) (“The pres­ence or absence of a cor­rupt or vicious mind is not controlling.”).

25. Nunez v. Hold­er, 594 F.3d 1124, 1130 (9th Cir. 2010) (not­ing that the fail­ure of both “the BIA or our own court to estab­lish any coher­ent cri­te­ria for deter­min­ing which crimes fall with­in that clas­si­fi­ca­tion and which crimes do not” is vex­ing), over­ruled by Betan­sos v. Barr, 928 F.3d 1133, 1141–42 (9th Cir. 2019).

26. Arias v. Lynch, 834 F.3d 823, 831 (7th Cir. 2016) (Pos­ner, J., con­cur­ring); see also Blake v. Car­bone, 489 F.3d 88, 103 (2d. Cir. 2007) (describ­ing CIMTs as “crim­i­nal because their nature is moral­ly rep­re­hen­si­ble” and not “sim­ply by rea­son of statu­to­ry pro­hi­bi­tion”); De Leon-Reynoso v. Ashcroft, 293 F.3d 633, 636 (3d Cir. 2002) (rely­ing on Black’s Law Dictionary’s def­i­n­i­tion of moral turpi­tude: “[c]onduct that is con­trary to jus­tice, hon­esty, or morality.”).

27. See Lind­say M. Korne­gay & Evan T. Lee, Why Deport­ing Immi­grants for “Crimes Involv­ing Moral Turpi­tude” Is Now Uncon­sti­tu­tion­al, 13 DUKE J. CONST. L. & PUB. POL’Y 47, 61–63 (2017) (list­ing manslaugh­ter, fraud, sex offens­es against chil­dren, child aban­don­ment and child abuse, inde­cent expo­sure, assault, mis­pri­sion of felony, false state­ments, and dri­ving under the influ­ence as con­vic­tions that receive dif­fer­en­tial treat­ment under the moral turpi­tude provision).

28. See Nunez, 594 F.3d at 1127 (“Moral­i­ty is not a con­cept that courts can define by judi­cial decrees, and even less can it be defined by fiats issued by the Board of Immi­gra­tion Appeals . . . .”); see also Mar­mole­jo-Cam­pos v. Hold­er, 558 F.3d 903, 921 (9th Cir. 2009) (en banc) (Berzon, J., dis­sent­ing) (“[T]he BIA’s prece­den­tial case law regard­ing the mean­ing of the phrase ‘crime involv­ing moral turpi­tude’ (‘CIMT’) is a mess of con­flict­ing authority.”).

29. See Arias, 834 F.3d at 826. Com­pare Hyder v. Keisler, 506 F.3d 388, 392 (5th Cir. 2007) and Guarda­do-Gar­cia v. Hold­er, 615 F.3d 900, 901 (8th Cir. 2010), with Bel­tran-Tira­do v. I.N.S., 213 F.3d 1179, 1184 (9th Cir. 2000).

30. Nunez, 594 F.3d at 1130.

31. Mar­mole­jo-Cam­pos, 558 F.3d at 919.

32. Arias, 834 F.3d at 830.

33. Id. at 835.

34. See Ses­sions v. Dimaya, 138 S. Ct. 1204, 1223 (2018) (hold­ing that the resid­ual clause was uncon­sti­tu­tion­al­ly vague).

35. Id. at 1210.

36. Id. at 1211.

37. Id. at 1210.

38. Id. at 1223.

39. See, e.g., Jen­nifer Lee Koh, Crim­mi­gra­tion and the Void for Vague­ness Doc­trine, 2016 WIS. L. REV. 1127, 1133 (2016) (assert­ing that the CIMT pro­vi­sion is ripe for recon­sid­er­a­tion under the vague­ness doc­trine fol­low­ing Ses­sions); Lind­say M. Korne­gay & Evan T. Lee, Why Deport­ing Immi­grants for “Crimes Involv­ing Moral Turpi­tude” Is Now Uncon­sti­tu­tion­al, 13 DUKE J. CONST. L. & PUB. POL’Y 47, 116 (2017) (argu­ing that “the fact that ‘moral turpi­tude’ must be gauged on a cat­e­gor­i­cal basis” and a court’s hypoth­e­sis of least cul­pa­ble con­duct ren­ders the stan­dard void for vagueness).

40. Oral Rear­gu­ment at 52:08, Ses­sions v. Dimaya, 138 S. Ct. 1204 (2018) (No. 15–1498),–1498.

41. Id. at 52:21.

42. See Har­ris v. Mex­i­can Spe­cial­ty Foods, Inc., 564 F.3d 1301, 1310 (11th Cir. 2009).

43. Com­pare Hashish v. Gon­za­les, 442 F.3d 572, 576–77 (7th Cir. 2006) with Mohamed v. Hold­er, 769 F.3d 885, 889 (4th Cir. 2014).

44. See Korne­gay & Lee, supra note 27, at 61–63 (list­ing manslaugh­ter, fraud, sex offens­es against chil­dren, child aban­don­ment and child abuse, inde­cent expo­sure, assault, mis­pri­sion of felony, false state­ments, and dri­ving under the influ­ence as con­vic­tions that receive dif­fer­en­tial treat­ment under the CIMT pro­vi­sion); see also Islas-Veloz v. Whitak­er, 914 F.3d 1249, 1259 (9th Cir. 2019) (Fletch­er, J., con­cur­ring) (explain­ing how the law­ful per­ma­nent res­i­dent pled guilty to a reck­less endan­ger­ment charge because two pri­or BIA deci­sions had held that reck­less endan­ger­ment was not a CIMT).

45. Bar­bosa v. Barr, 926 F.3d 1053, 1060 (9th Cir. 2019) (Berzon, J., concurring).

46. Jor­dan v. De George, 341 U.S. 223, 232 (1951).

47. Id.

48. See, e.g., Islas-Veloz, 914 F.3d at 1250 (“The Court’s more recent deci­sions in John­son and Dimaya did not reopen inquiry into the con­sti­tu­tion­al­i­ty” of CIMT); Gar­cia-Meza v. Mukasey, 516 F.3d 535, 536 (7th Cir. 2008) (“Although the phrase ‘crime involv­ing moral turpi­tude’ is noto­ri­ous­ly baf­fling, the Supreme Court has reject­ed a vague­ness chal­lenge to it.” (cit­ing Jor­dan, 341 U.S. at 232)).

49. Jor­dan, 341 U.S. at 232 (stat­ing that a standard’s poten­tial inad­e­qua­cy in “less obvi­ous cas­es” does not ren­der it void for vagueness).

50. Id.

51. John­son, 576 U.S. at 606 (quot­ing Payne v. Ten­nessee, 501 U.S. 808, 827 (1991)).

52. Mar­ciano v. INS, 450 F.2d 1022, 1026 n.1 (8th Cir. 1971) (Eise­le, J., dis­sent­ing) (“[T]hat the phrase ‘crime involv­ing moral turpi­tude’ is uncon­sti­tu­tion­al­ly vague and vio­lates the due process clause . . . seems man­i­fest by the vari­ety and incon­sis­ten­cy of the var­i­ous opin­ions attempt­ing to deal with the phrase.”).

53. Jor­dan, 341 U.S. at 239 (Jack­son, J., dissenting).

54. See id. at 239–40 (spec­u­lat­ing that many nonci­t­i­zens may not have been deport­ed if their cas­es were heard by a dif­fer­ent judge).

55. See Papachris­tou v. Jack­sonville, 405 U.S. 156, 165 (1972) (strik­ing a vagrancy ordi­nance void for vague­ness because of the unfet­tered dis­cre­tion afford­ed to law enforcement).

56. Hunter v. Under­wood, 471 U.S. 222 (1985).

57. Id. at 223.

58. Id. at 227 (find­ing that crimes select­ed for inclu­sion in the pro­vi­sion were believed by the del­e­gates to be more fre­quent­ly com­mit­ted by Black indi­vid­u­als and poten­tial Black vot­ers were near­ly two times as like­ly to be dis­en­fran­chised by the statute than poten­tial white voters).

59. See South Car­oli­na v. Katzen­bach, 383 U.S. 301, 312–13 (1966) (hold­ing that vague “good-morals” vot­ing require­ments con­sti­tute an open invi­ta­tion for abuse by state officials).

60. See Julia Ann Simon-Kerr, Moral Turpi­tude, 2012 Utah L. Rev. 1001, 1001 (2012).

61. See Padil­la v. Ken­tucky, 559 U.S. 356, 373–74 (2010) (“The sever­i­ty of depor­ta­tion . . . only under­scores how crit­i­cal it is for coun­sel to inform her nonci­t­i­zen client that he faces a risk of deportation.”).