Don’t Take Westlaw For Gospel Says Judge Susan Graber , Her Opinion calls Publisher’s Reading, “Shallow”….. In UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff – Appellee, v. GENARO MEDINA-LUNA, Defendant – Appellant.

In the nitty gritty of the opinion


We pause to observe that, unfortunately, confusion has arisen about whether Miller itself has been overruled in part.

We briefly addressed this topic in Rieman v. Vazquez, No. 22-56054, 2024 WL 927667, at *4 n.1 (9th Cir. March 5, 2024), as amended (April 2, 2024). We take this opportunity to provide more context.

In a few cases, we have cited Miller and erroneously appended an unexplained notation that Miller has been “overruled on other grounds by Sanchez v. Mayorkas, 593 U.S. 409 (2021).” E.g., Punchbowl, Inc. v. AJ Press, LLC, 90 F.4th 1022, 1031 (9th Cir. 2024); United States v. Eckford, 77 F.4th 1228, 1233 (9th Cir. 2023), cert. denied, 144 S. Ct. 521 (2023). By contrast, in dozens of our recent cases, we have used the proper citation formatting for Miller, with no reference to Sanchez or to Miller’s having been overruled. E.g., Coria v. Garland, No. 22-970, 2024 WL 1164863, at *2 (9th Cir. Mar. 19, 2024); McBurnie v. RAC Acceptance E., LLC, No. 22-16868, 2024 WL 1101845, at *4 (9th Cir. Mar. 14, 2024); Jamgotchian v. Ferraro, 93 F.4th 1150, 1160 (9th Cir. 2024).

The confusion arises from a red flag placed on Miller by Westlaw, due to Westlaw’s misreading of our decision in Hernandez v. Garland, 47 F.4th 908 (9th Cir. 2022), as amended (Sept. 14, 2022). Hernandez was an immigration case in which we applied Miller’s test and recognized that the Supreme Court’s intervening decision in Sanchez had overruled a series of our older cases.


Westlaw misread our decision as having held that Miller itself was overruled. Westlaw’s shallow reading of Hernandez was perhaps 8 USA V. MEDINA-LUNA understandable at first glance because the opinion assumed that the reader understood Miller, and the citation to it doesnot follow immediately after the phrase “effectively overruled our precedent” in the opening paragraphs:


[W]e hold that the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Sanchez v. Mayorkas, 141 S. Ct. 1809 (2021), effectively overruled our precedent requiring that the benefits conferred by an alien’s immigration status be analyzed to determine if the alien had been “admitted in any status,” see Miller v. Gammie, 335 F.3d 889, 893 (9th Cir. 2003) (en banc), and we conclude that under Sanchez and the plain language of the relevant immigration statutes, Hernandez’s [temporary protected status] does not constitute an admission under 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(a)(2). Hernandez, 47 F.4th at 910.Westlaw’s reading of this shorthand summary was clearly wrong. Miller was a § 1983 case that had nothing whatsoever to do with immigration statutes. As the remainder of Hernandez makes clear, Sanchez overruled only a series of our immigration decisions. Hernandez, 47 F.4th at 913–14; see also Rieman, 2024 WL 927667, at *4 n.1 (“The Supreme Court’s decision in Sanchez did not overrule any aspect of our decision in Miller.”) Nothing in

Sanchez speaks to any aspect of Miller, and no sensible reading of Hernandez suggests that Miller has been overruled, in whole or in part or on other grounds. As we have repeatedly recognized in cases decided after Sanchez, USA V. MEDINA-LUNA 9 Miller remains good law in all respects.1 We now proceed to apply Miller. 2. United States v. Travis Is No Longer Good Law