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Kleindienst v. Mandel, 408 U.S. 753 (1972), was a decision by the United States Supreme Court, which held that the United States Attorney General has the right to refuse somebody's entry to the United States, as he has been empowered to do so in 212 (a) (28) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952.

Kleindienst v. Mandel
Seal of the United States Supreme Court
Argued April 18, 1972
Decided June 29, 1972
Full case nameRichard Gordon Kleindienst, Attorney General, et al. v. Ernest Mandel, et al.
Citations408 U.S. 753 (more)
92 S.Ct. 2576; 33 L. Ed. 2d 683; 1972 U.S. LEXIS 22
Case history
PriorAppeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
In the exercise of Congress' plenary power to exclude aliens or prescribe the conditions for their entry into this country, Congress in 212 (a) (28) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 has delegated conditional exercise of this power to the Executive Branch. When the Attorney General decides for a legitimate and bona fide reason not to waive the statutory exclusion of an alien, courts will not look behind his decision or weigh it against the First Amendment interests of those who would personally communicate with the alien.
Court membership
Chief Justice
Warren E. Burger
Associate Justices
William O. Douglas · William J. Brennan Jr.
Potter Stewart · Byron White
Thurgood Marshall · Harry Blackmun
Lewis F. Powell Jr. · William Rehnquist
Case opinions
MajorityBlackmun, joined by Burger, Stewart, White, Powell, Rehnquist
DissentMarshall, joined by Brennan
Laws applied
Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, 212 (a) (28)

This action was brought to compel Attorney General Richard Kleindienst to grant a temporary nonimmigrant visa to a Belgian journalist and Marxian theoretician whom the American plaintiff-appellees, Ernest Mandel et al., had invited to participate in academic conferences and discussions in the US. The alien had been found ineligible for admission under 212 (a) (28) (D) and (G) (v) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, barring those who advocate or publish "the economic, international, and governmental doctrines of world communism." Kleindienst had declined to waive ineligibility as he has the power to do under 212 (d) of the Act, basing his decision on unscheduled activities engaged in by the alien on a previous visit to the United States, when a waiver was granted.



Kleindienst v. Mandel was cited by the 9th Circuit three-judge appeals panel on February 9, 2017, in State of Washington and State of Minnesota v. Trump, with regard to an executive order concerning the restriction of immigration from certain stipulated countries. In that case the government relied on language from Mandel that embraces the proposition that "when the Executive exercises immigration authority 'on the basis of a facially legitimate and bona fide reason, the courts will [not] look behind the exercise of that discretion.'" The court instead held that the Mandel Standard involved a "congressionally enumerated standard" and its application to an individual visa application rather than what it considered to be the "President's promulgation of sweeping immigration policy". They concluded that "courts can and do review constitutional challenges to the substance and implementation of immigration policy."[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Read the 9th Circuit's opinion on the travel ban". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-02-10.

Further readingEdit

  • Aleinikoff, T. Alexander (1989). "Federal Regulation of Aliens and the Constitution". American Journal of International Law. The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 83, No. 4. 83 (4): 862–871. doi:10.2307/2203375. JSTOR 2203375.
  • Bezanson, Mary Elizabeth (2003). "Kleindienst v. Mandel". In Parker, Richard A. (ed.). Free Speech on Trial: Communication Perspectives on Landmark Supreme Court Decisions. Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press. pp. 172–186. ISBN 0-8173-1301-X.
  • Shapiro, Steven R. (1987). "Ideological Exclusions: Closing the Border to Political Dissidents". Harvard Law Review. Harvard Law Review, Vol. 100, No. 4. 100 (4): 930–945. doi:10.2307/1341100. JSTOR 1341100.

External linksEdit