U.S. Supreme Court
Woodby v. INS, 385 U.S. 276 (1966)
Woodby v. Immigration and Naturalization Service
Argued November 17, 1966
Decided December 12, 1966
385 U.S. 276
In No. 80, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit originally set aside a deportation order against petitioner on the ground that the Government has the burden of proving the facts supporting deportability beyond a reasonable doubt, but then reversed itself and held that the Government need only prove its case with reasonable, substantial, and probative evidence. In No. 40, the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit did not explicitly deal with the burden of persuasion imposed on the Government at the administrative level, but found only that the underlying deportation order was supported by reasonable, substantial, and probative evidence on the record considered as a whole. Section 106(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act states that a deportation order, "if supported by reasonable, substantial, and probative evidence on the record considered as a whole, shall be conclusive," and § 242(b)(4) of the Act provides that "no decision of deportability shall be valid unless it is based upon reasonable, substantial, and probative evidence."
Held: No deportation order may be entered unless the Government proves by clear, unequivocal, and convincing evidence that the facts alleged as grounds for deportation are true. Pp. 385 U. S. 282-286.
(a) Sections 106(a)(4) and 242(b)(4) of the Act are addressed to the scope of judicial review, and not to the degree of proof required at the administrative level in deportation proceedings. Pp. 385 U. S. 282-284.
(b) Congress has not specified the degree of proof required in deportation proceedings, a matter traditionally left to the courts to resolve. P. 385 U. S. 284.
(c) In denaturalization and expatriation cases, the Government has been required by the Court to establish its allegations by clear, chanroblesvirtualawlibrary
unequivocal, and convincing evidence, and that burden of proof is likewise appropriate in deportation proceedings. Pp. 385 U. S. 285-286.