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Divided Supreme Court says part of immigration law used for deportation too vague

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"A divided Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that part of a federal law used to deport noncitizens who commit felonies is unconstitutionally vague, with new Justice Neil M. Gorsuch joining the court’s liberal members in striking the statute.

The 5-to-4 decision could limit the government’s ability to deport those with criminal records, something that President Trump has identified as a priority.

Justice Elena Kagan wrote that the part of the Immigration and Nationality Act in question was so “fuzzy” over what constitutes the kind of aggravated felony that requires an immigrant’s deportation that it violated the constitutional protection of due process.

She was joined by the court’s consistent liberals — Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor — as well as Gorsuch, who has just celebrated his first anniversary on the court after being nominated by Trump.

Gorsuch did not join all of Kagan’s opinion, but he agreed with the outcome.

“Vague laws invite arbitrary power,” Gorsuch wrote in concurring with the majority. He mentioned that before the American Revolution, the crime of treason in English law gave authorities power to go after those whose opinions they disliked..."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/divided-supreme-court-says-part-of-immigration-law-used-for-deportation-too-vague/2018/04/17/37a57c22-4258-11e8-ad8f-27a8c409298b_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.afb5448cc879

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Floridatexan wrote:
"A divided Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that part of a federal law used to deport noncitizens who commit felonies is unconstitutionally vague, with new Justice Neil M. Gorsuch joining the court’s liberal members in striking the statute.

The 5-to-4 decision could limit the government’s ability to deport those with criminal records, something that President Trump has identified as a priority.

Justice Elena Kagan wrote that the part of the Immigration and Nationality Act in question was so “fuzzy” over what constitutes the kind of aggravated felony that requires an immigrant’s deportation that it violated the constitutional protection of due process.

She was joined by the court’s consistent liberals — Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor — as well as Gorsuch, who has just celebrated his first anniversary on the court after being nominated by Trump.

Gorsuch did not join all of Kagan’s opinion, but he agreed with the outcome.

“Vague laws invite arbitrary power,” Gorsuch wrote in concurring with the majority. He mentioned that before the American Revolution, the crime of treason in English law gave authorities power to go after those whose opinions they disliked..."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/divided-supreme-court-says-part-of-immigration-law-used-for-deportation-too-vague/2018/04/17/37a57c22-4258-11e8-ad8f-27a8c409298b_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.afb5448cc879


Immigration law has always had some rather obscure legal concepts  .... particular the meaning of the term "Crime Involving Moral Turpitude", and "Aggravated Felon" .    Immigration officials don't just make this stuff up on their own on a case-by-case basis ... I can assure you. The old INS (now ICE & CBP) has always received routine written guidance from main justice on which convictions constitute an "aggravated felony" and which don't.  Often changes in the guidance result from Federal District and Circuit Court of Appeals decisions in various areas of the country.  

States and local jurisdictions often have laws and ordinances that assign different names to crimes which have the same essential elements.   You can be convicted of some unlawful behavior in one State and it is called one thing ... in another it might be called something else.   Further each State will assign different "elements of the crime" to the same violation.     This is the reason there is not one list in immigration law that names every single crime for which one can be deported by their proper State statute and City/County ordinance names.   Immigration law is written as such to look past the "name" of the statute violation for which one was convicted and look at the actual elements of the crime.

For those on this board who haven't much familiarity with the ins and outs of immigration law, I would suggest keeping one thing in mind when considering the issues .... immigration law contains a lot of civil law.   Mostly civil law, in fact.     The Federal Courts have limited authority to review administrative deportation decisions  .... generally only when there are issues of due process having been followed or civil rights violations, along with a few other rather obscure legal technicalities.

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EmeraldGhost wrote:
...the ins and outs of immigration law,

Very nice!

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