José A. Cabranes


José A. Cabranes : biography

December 22, 1940 –

Mora v. New York, 524 F.3d 183 (2d Cir. 2008): Cabranes, writing for a unanimous panel on a question of first impression, held that the requirement of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations that a detained alien be informed of the availability of consular notification and access did not establish a right that could be vindicated in a civil rights action for damages. He also concluded that the detention of an alien without being informed of the availability of consular notification and access did not amount to a tort in violation of customary international law cognizable under the Alien Tort Statute.

Ricci v. DeStefano, 530 F.3d 88 (2d Cir 2008): In a dissenting opinion joined by five other members of the 13-member court, Cabranes objected to the perfunctory affirmance of an award of summary judgment to the defendants in a civil rights action. Cabranes dissented from the denial of en banc rehearing of this case, observing that the appeal raised important questions of first impression regarding the application of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and Title VII’s prohibition on discriminatory employment practices-primarily, whether a city employer may disregard the results of a qualifying employment examination, which was carefully constructed to ensure race-neutrality, on the ground that the results of that examination yielded too many qualified applicants of one race and not eough of another. Cabranes urged the Supreme Court to consider the question, and the Supreme Court granted certiorari on January 9, 2009. The Supreme Court reviewed the decision to dimsiss the suit, reversed it, and took the unusual step of granting judgment for the firefighters.

Arar v. Ashcroft, 532 F.3d 157 (2d Cir. 2008): In an action brought by a dual citizen of Canada and Syria arising from his alleged detention in the United States, transfer to Syria, and detention and torture in Syria, Cabranes, writing for a unanimous panel, held that the court had jurisdiction over the defendant government officials and that the plaintiff had failed to state a claim under the Torture Victim Prevention Act. Writing for the panel majority, Cabranes affirmed the dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims brought under Bivens v. Six Unknown Federal Narcotics Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), on the grounds that (1) an alternative remedial scheme precluded recognition of the claims, and (2) special factors counseled hesitation in creating a new and freestanding Bivens remedy.

In re Terrorist Bombings (Fourth Amendment Challenges), 552 F.3d 157 (2d Cir. 2008): Affirming the convictions of Al Qaeda terrorists for their involvement in the bombing of the American Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Cabranes held, as a matter offirst impression, that the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement does not govern searches of U.S. citizens conducted abroad by U.S. agents; such searches need only satisfy the Fourth Amendment’s requirement of reasonableness. Cabranes also held that a district court’s ex parte, in camera evaluation of evidence submitted by the government in opposition to a suppression motion is appropriate when national security considerations weigh in favor of maintaining the confidentiality of that evidence.

In re Terrorist Bombings (Fifth Amendment Challenges) 552 F.3d 177 (2d Cir. 2008): Considering the motions to suppress statements made overseas to U.S. and non-U.S. officials by defendants convicted of participation in the bombing of American Embassies in East Africa, Cabranes held that oral warnings provided by a federal prosecutor were sufficient to apprise the defendants of their Miranda rights insofar as they had any such rights. In addition, Cabranes held that defendants’ 14-day incommunicado detention in Kenyan custody did not render their post-warning statements involuntary and that, in order to reopen suppression proceedings, the government is not required to offer a reasonable justification for not having presented evidence at an earlier proceeding.