Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

Split En Banc CA9 on Modified Categorical Approach: Young v. Holder

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Majority: "The evidentiary limitations articulated in  Shepard v. United States, 544 U.S. 13, 26 (2005), apply when determining, under the modified categorical approach, whether a prior conviction renders an alien ineligible for cancellation of removal as an aggravated felon under 8 U.S.C. § 1229b. ... Under the modified categorical approach, a guilty plea to a conjunctively phrased charging document establishes only the minimal facts necessary to sustain a defendant’s conviction. In other words, when a conjunctively phrased charging document alleges several theories of the crime, a guilty plea establishes a conviction under at least one, but not necessarily all, of those theories. In so deciding, we reconcile our inconsistent precedents on this issue by adopting one line of cases—including Malta-Espinoza v. Gonzales, 478 F.3d 1080, 1082 n.3 (9th Cir. 2007)—and rejecting the other, including United