Professor Irwin Stotzky Publishes Book on Seminal Constitutional Immigration Case, Jean v. Nelson

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Prof. Irwin Stotzky

Professor Irwin Stotzky

Human rights expert and professor of law, Irwin Stotzky, recently had his book Jean v. Nelson: A Civil Rights Revolution in Immigration published by Twelve Tables Press.

Using the litigation documents and the sequential storyline of the Haitian asylum seekers' plight, Stotzky discusses the landmark trial and complicated appellate process to the final United States Supreme Court decision. In doing so, he uses the actual filed documents, asides, and backstory, including the impact of Justice Marshall's dissent at the root of all current immigration law litigation, the guarantee of equal protection to asylum seekers detained around the U.S. Stotzky litigated the case for over a decade.

Additionally, Stotzky recently participated in two webinars, one on criminal justice issues sponsored by the Miami Law and one on immigration, sponsored by “Leaders in Law,” a Fastcase webinar series spotlighting lawyers serving and protecting civil rights. He also participated in a podcast sponsored by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund titled “The Other Side of the Water: Immigration and the Promise of Racial Justice.”

Stotzky was a panelist in a New York University Law School conference, co-sponsored by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Supreme Court opinion in Jean v. Nelson titled: “Immigration, Equal Protection, and the Promise of Racial Justice: The Legacy of Jean v. Nelson.”

His article, “Murder, Impunity, and the Rule of Law,” has been recently published and appears in the latest Civil Rights and Attorney Fees Annual Handbook.

For over four decades, Stotzky represented Haitian and other refugees on constitutional and human rights issues in many cases, including several cases in the U.S. Supreme Court. He has served as an adviser to the Alfonsin regime in Argentina on what steps to take, including human rights trials, against those who committed massive human rights abuses during the so-called "dirty war." For many years, he served as an attorney and adviser to the first democratically elected president in the history of Haiti, Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and as an adviser to President Renè Preval's administration.

Stotzky has received human rights awards from the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the Haitian Refugee Center for his representation of refugees in a series of cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and his human rights work abroad.

On April 27, 2021, he will give a talk on the book as well as a general lecture on immigration issues at the University of Chicago Law School sponsored by its Immigration Law Society.  

Read about Miami Law’s Human Rights Program