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Supreme Court refuses to hear Gonzalez family appeal


June 28, 2000
Web posted at: 2:34 p.m. EDT (1834 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Supreme Court on Wednesday cleared the way for 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez to return to Cuba with his father, ending a seven month custody battle over the boy.

In a brief, two-sentence statement, the court rejected a request by Elian's Miami relatives for a political asylum hearing on the boy's behalf and refused to extend the injunction requiring him to stay in the United States.

The ruling meant that Elian and his immediate family would be free to leave for Cuba after 4 p.m. EDT Wednesday when a previous injunction expires.

In light of the Supreme Court ruling, the 6-year-old, his father, stepmother, and half-brother were expected to board a charter jet at Dulles Airport for the flight to Havana. Cuban officials tell CNN that the family will then return to their home in Cardenas.

Juan Miguel Gonzalez's June 27 response to Miami relatives' petition to the Supreme Court
PDF version (FindLaw)

Miami relatives' June 26 petition for writ of certiorari
Introduction (FindLaw)
Text (FindLaw)
(Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Miami relatives' June 26 petition to the Supreme Court seeking a stay
PDF version (FindLaw)
(Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
Scanned version
11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals June 23 decision denying petition for rehearing
Scanned version

11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals June 1 ruling denying Elian's political asylum
Scanned version
PDF version (FindLaw)
(Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
Do you agree with the Supreme Court's action?

US/Cuba relations
Consumer Center

Attorneys for the Miami relatives filed an emergency petition with the Supreme Court Monday after the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected their request to reconsider its ruling that said the Immigration and Naturalization Service did not have to grant Elian a political asylum hearing.

The appeal said the legal issues "boil down to a single straightforward question: Can the INS deprive an alien child of his statutory and constitutional right to apply for asylum without conducting any hearing of any kind -- or even interviewing the child himself?"

The Justice Department argued that Elian's Miami relatives' last-ditch appeal was without merit and said, "prohibiting Elian's departure would only cause him harm."

Justice Department officials are relieved that the Supreme Court agreed with their position, CNN Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas reported. He said they would like for the family to leave in dignity.

Immigration officials have consistently maintained that the desire of Elian's father to repatriate the boy to Cuba must be respected, a position backed by a succession of court rulings.

Elian has been at the center of a legal tug of war between his father and his Miami relatives since he was found clinging to an inner tube on Thanksgiving Day. His mother and 10 other people died trying to reach the U.S. in a poorly-made boat.

Elian could be just hours away from return to Cuba
June 28, 2000
Elian's father urges Supreme Court to let the boy go home
June 27, 2000
Massive Cuban demonstration implores: 'Yankees, free Elian!'
June 24, 2000
Appeals court to rule on rehearing petition in Elian case
June 23, 2000
Justice argument would, in theory, open path that could allow Elian to leave for Cuba
June 20, 2000
Court gives government and father deadline to respond in Elian Gonzalez case
June 15, 2000
Justice asks court to dismiss Lazaro's suit to keep Elian in U.S.
June 7, 2000
Elian's father 'very happy' with court decision; Miami family will fight on
June 1, 2000

U.S. Attorney General
U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service
Public Affairs
Executive Office of the Governor of Florida
Eleventh Circuit Published Opinions
United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit - Foundation to Help Save Elian
Granma Internacional Digital, Cuba
  • Kidnap in Miami
Cuban American National Foundation

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