Podcast Excerpt

Doe v. Sessions update, the outtake
October 4, 2018
[. . .]

MALANEY: Okay guys if you’re still with us after that detailed interview about the tax fraud story that came out yesterday, before I depart I wanted to do a quick last minute update for the outro. DW is here for the update today to talk about the update on her previous case that she discussed in detail on here months ago, Doe v. Sessions, and we also discussed how asylum law is male centric.

DW: Yes. Hello pod people. I was bribed with french toast and then there was no french toast so.. I am going to be pretty obnoxious.

MALANEY: Here’s what happened. I called to you to come here… and then you came over and said, “what? Is there french toast?”

DW: uhhhhm

MALANEY: and I said no, that I have some extra time if you want to update everyone on the results of that case you came on and talked about three months ago. And then you said, yeah ok, but can we still make french toast after? And I said probably. And that was less than five minutes ago…

DW: you know what, Mal? This has been such a hard couple of weeks, of just misery and disappointment and like awfulness. I don’t understand why there isn’t just french toast everywhere I go. I feel like you should have anticipated that... I mean what else did we get that bread maker for…

MALANEY: You’re right, it has been wholly unpleasant in every way, and sweet bread would make it better.

DW: mmhm

MALANEY: you’re not being that obnoxious

DW: yeah… it's early

MALANEY: You know when you were really obnoxious? When we tried to watch Disobedience this weekend… and you kept announcing how boring it was.

DW: Haha. It was so boring. I hated it. I just — we need to quit our jobs and write lesbian romcoms like high quality ones for like mainstream America. I don’t get why every lesbian movie is like a dark drama. I think we could do it, like let’s just retire and remember I have a movie ready to go, don’t forget my--

MALANEY: Oh I won’t forget.

DW: --movie… where Diane Lane and Rachel Weisz fall in love. It’s called, “From Sea to Stars,” because… [laughing]… because one is a marine biologist and one is an astronomer or astronaut and they just don’t see eye to eye, one is like really down to earth and the other one has her head in the clouds!

MALANEY: [groans]

DW: [excitedly] But then, suddenly, things just fall into place.

MALANEY: [sighing] oh do they?

DW: I can just hear that loveable will-they-won’t-they witty banter… and a really hot scene on a submarine or a space station or something. I don’t know. Or both..

MALANEY: How does the marine biologist get on to the space station?

DW: the same way Sandra Bullock did, I guess…

MALANEY: I 100% support your decision to write that script and send it out to the world and see what happens.

DW: Well since you have Netflix connections now…

MALANEY: I don’t think they are interested.

DW: Just one meeting! We’ll bring them french toast.

MALANEY: I love you, but I feel obligated to save the world from whatever that is going to be.

DW: It would be at least as good as A Christmas Prince.

MALANEY: Oh oh. A Christmas Prince.

DW: If you haven’t seen A Christmas Prince, it’s like the Devil Wears Prada, meets Princess Diaries, meets any movie with a female journalist, meets the Prince and I. It’s very dumb, but it’s somehow more tolerable than Disobedience.

MALANEY: I would love to see like one movie about a female journalist who does not become intimate with her sources. They always have compromised ethics in movies and tv shows, but like only the women. It’s very frustrating.

DW: Yeah yeah that’s like a real important issue, but back to my fake movie.

MALANEY: You’re not done with that huh?

DW: You would curl up in a cozy blanket with the cats and an irish hot chocolate and you would love it.

MALANEY: I do love Diane Lane, particularly in one of my favorite movies, Must Love Dogs

DW: I have a great idea for a lesbian reboot of Must Love Dogs… called Must Love P—

MALANEY: YEAH, yeah, yeah, they get it, they get it. Real clever.

DW: Alright, don’t look at me like you’re a freaking Quaker or something.

MALANEY: [loud dramatic sigh]

DW: Oh don’t give me that disappointment glare and head shake. I can’t handle that right now. I am very fragile. It’s been a rough week I just want to joke around.

MALANEY: Everyone is fragile right now.

DW: Yeah. That’s why I was so excited for french toast…

MALANEY: Yeah well if you move this along that french toast process can happen sooner. DW, why don’t you tell everyone your news?

DW: About…?

MALANEY: that you finally got your own twitter account.

DW: Uh. Nah…

MALANEY: You can follow her, and @ her at all the stuff you @ me about because of what she says on here, and her handle is DWWS.

DW: please at me, if you agree with me or are giving me praise, or free food, or a good coupon or something. I can’t believe you forced me to get a twitter account. There was nothing wrong with our old system where I deprived you of your ipad and reposted immigration articles to all your followers. They need to know that stuff.

MALANEY: Yes, well. You can now tweet it yourself and I can retweet it.

DW: Just seems like we created a middle man for no reason.

MALANEY: I was kidding, I just thought maybe you could come on and do a real short review of how your case turned out…. from when you came on here and discussed it at length three months ago..

DW: So all that stuff from before is going to get cut for time right?

MALANEY: Yeah. Of course. Just explain what happened.

DW: Do you want to get your podcast voice back and like set it up for me?

MALANEY: you can’t?

DW: I’m your guest, and I would like to say that the guest and host relations on this podcast would improve with some type of bread and fruit and sugar and maple syrup dish… and maybe some bacon to balance it out the sweetness.

MALANEY: [in a different more serious voice] So three months ago you came on here and you talked about a case you were doing in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, called Doe v. Sessions, an asylum case where the applicant for asylum had won her asylum case but the Department of Homeland Security appealed the case saying that the court erred in granting her asylum application because Jane Doe could not show that trauma including sexual assault, stalking, threats were on account of her witnessing a politically based murder of her boyfriend and boyfriend’s father. So you won at trial, but then DHS appealed, and then you lost the appeal, and then you appealed that decision to a much higher court who did…

DW: So… the Eleventh Circuit agreed with our argument more than the DOJ, just to clarify DOJ and DHS are under the same umbrella, DHS prosecutes asylum claims or immigration claims, and DOJ represents those claims on appeal. It’s very complicated and not part of this story. Anyways, so in many federal circuits DOJ is arguing that it’s too hard to prove that trauma or crimes that a person may suffer are different than just general crimes that happen to people in the population and that’s not what asylum is for and they’ll point to things like there’s a highest rate of violence against women in the world in your country, so if you were raped you can’t prove that it was based on anything more than lawlessness. All the courts who have heard these cases have rejected it outright but then have like take then case they have and said “but this case before us is general lawlessness.” That did not happen in my case, in my case, the court acknowledged two things, first that general crimes of violence and lawlessness in a country do not on their own establish asylum eligibility but that you cannot blanket ban claims of people from countries with high rates of violence because all asylum cases are determined on a case by case basis. Which was always the rule, and the rule that our brief relied on heavily.

MALANEY: so then what happened?

DW:So the case was remanded down to the immigration court, so we can get more specific fact finding to determine if this is more than generalized lawlessness and violence against women. Which it is, so I am optimistic about that, I am frustrated by this one caveat, that between the time this case was briefed, argued, and decided, the Attorney General decided new parameters for defining social groups for asylum which may implications on the social group in this case, however it was not returned to the lower court for this purpose. So I don’t completely know what is going to happen with that, my hope is that it won’t be an issue, uhm, I don’t know. I’ll fight it until all of our legal options are exhausted.

MALANEY: Well, I’m sure some lawyers understood what you said.

DW: Haha sorry. It’s very complex, uhm, it’s immigration law. It’s rough.

MALANEY: Well, thanks for updating everyone in a very short concise way that I did not have to edit down massively for time.

DW: you are so very welcome.