Stone v. INS, 514 U.S. 386, 11 (1995)

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396

STONE v. INS

Opinion of the Court

and, while the petition was still pending, went back to the agency to seek its reconsideration or, if new evidence had arisen, reopening. If, upon denial of reconsideration or reopening, the alien sought review, and the review of the original order were still pending, 106(a)(6) would apply and the two petitions would be consolidated. The dissent relies on the same assumed state of events. See post, at 409-410.

That construct, however, is premised on a view of finality quite inconsistent with the tolling rule petitioner himself proposes. If, as petitioner advocates, the filing of a timely petition for reconsideration before seeking judicial review renders the underlying order nonfinal, so that a reviewing court would lack jurisdiction to review the order until after disposition of the reconsideration motion, one wonders how a court retains jurisdiction merely because the petitioner delays the reconsideration motions until after filing the petition for judicial review of the underlying order. The policy supporting the nonfinality rule—that "when the party elects to seek a rehearing there is always a possibility that the order complained of will be modified in a way which renders judicial review unnecessary," Outland, 284 F. 2d, at 227—applies with equal force where the party seeks agency rehearing after filing a petition for judicial review. Indeed, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, whose decision in Outland we cited in support of our construction in Locomotive Engineers, has so held in the years following our decision. See Wade v. FCC, 986 F. 2d 1433, 1434 (1993) (per curiam) ("The danger of wasted judicial effort . . . arises whether a party seeks agency reconsideration before, simultaneous with, or after filing an appeal or petition for judicial review") (citations omitted). The Wade holding rested on, and is consistent with, our decision in a somewhat analogous context that the filing of a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59 motion to alter or amend a district court's judgment strips the appellate court of jurisdiction, whether the Rule 59 motion is filed before or after the notice of appeal. See Griggs

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