Immigration Court Regulations Not Vague
US v. Moriello: Moriello is an immigration attorney who had appeared at a hearing in immigration court in Charlotte, NC. With the permission of the immigration judge, Moriello was allowed to remain in the courtroom to observe other proceedings (normally they are closed). A sign outside the courtroom told visitors they could not use electronic devices, aside from "attorneys and other representatives" for "clear and immediate business purposes only." Moriello used her device, anyway, prompting one of the bailiffs (who are contractors, not federal employees) to ask her to turn it off. She refused, after which point the judge took notice. The judge stopped the hearing to direct bailiffs to tell Moriello to stop using her phone. After two further refusals she "became argumentative," the hearing was suspended and Federal Protective Services officers were called, who eventually wrote Moriello a citation for violating the electronic device regulation. Moriello was then charged in a two-count information with failing to comply with the lawful direction of an authorized individual while on property under the authority of the General Services Administration and impeding and disrupting the performance of official duties. Moriello was eventually convicted at a bench trial and fined $2500.
On appeal, the Fourth Circuit affirmed Moriello's convictions, rejecting several arguments as to the legitimacy of the regulations. First, the court concluded that the regulations were not unconstitutionally vague. Second, the court found that the regulations did not violate the non-delegation doctrine. Third, the court rejected the argument that, under the Tenth Amendment, the "regulations interfere with [Moriello's] rights as a private citizen to disregard unwarranted exercise or authority." Fourth, the court found that the magistrate judge and district court properly interpreted the regulations. Finally, the court found that the evidence was sufficient to support Moriello's convictions.