Can Richard Goldstone Be Barred from U.S.?
I seriously doubt it, but Richard Sher, a former Department of Justice official in the Office of Special Investigations, thinks Goldstone’s apartheid-era past justifies denying Goldstone a visa to the U.S.
In a letter sent to US officials, Neal Sher, a former executive director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, said that recently disclosed information about Goldstone’s apartheid-era rulings raised questions about whether he was eligible to enter the United States. The letter was sent to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, US Attorney-General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
Individuals who admit to acts that constitute a crime of moral turpitude¨are ineligible to enter the US, Sher charged. The recent public revelations, to which Goldstone has reportedly admitted, would appear to fit within this provision. At a minimum, there is ample basis for federal authorities to initiate an investigation into this matter, Sher said.
I’m no expert on the relevant U.S. laws here, but my impression is that this power to bar based on “moral turpitude” has been rarely exercised. See INA § 212(a)(2)(A)(i), 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(A)(i), (barring admission of alien who has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude or who admits committing acts that constitute the essential elements of such a crime). And I’m less than sure they would apply to serving as a judge in the Apartheid era, although that is certainly debatable. I suppose one could make the case that Goldstone authorized “extrajudicial killings” (“a deliberated killing not authorized by a previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.”), although I don’t think the facts support that view. For a little background on the laws here, see here.