Gorsuch Casts Deciding Vote on Immigration Case - It May Surprise You

17 April, 2018, 20:42 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Gorsuch Casts Deciding Vote on Immigration Case - It May Surprise You

President Trump's Supreme Court pick surprised the White House Tuesday; casting the tie-breaking vote against the administration on a pivotal immigration case and handing the White House a major setback in their fight to crackdown on undocumented workers.

The Supreme Court declared a clause in federal law, requiring the deportation of immigrants convicted of a "crime of violence", unconstitutionally vague Tuesday. The Justice Department's Board of Immigration Appeals, an administrative body that applies immigration laws, refused to cancel his expulsion because the relevant law defined burglary as a "crime of violence".

After Justice Gorsuch joined the court, the justices heard the case re-argued. "The truth is, no one knows", Gorsuch said in his concurring opinion.

The appeals court relied on a decision that same year by the U.S. Supreme Court, which found that a similar provision in a federal criminal sentencing law was overly broad. In a case considering the deportation of an immigrant convicted of a felony, Gorsuch sided with the liberal justices in deciding to allow him to stay in the United States.

Justice Elena Kagan wrote that the 20015 decision "tells us how to resolve this case".

Dimaya came to the United States from the Philippines as a legal permanent resident in 1992 at age 13.

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Federal authorities ordered Dimaya deported after he was convicted in two California home burglaries, in 2007 and 2009, though neither crime involved violence.

The law, although covering crimes that include actual violence, attempted violence or a threat of violence, goes on to add in crimes that involve "a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another".

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, noting that the term "aggravated felony" under the Immigration and Nationality Act was too vague.

The case, Sessions v Dimaya, was initially argued in January of 2017 by a court that was short a member because the late Justice Antonin Scalia's seat had not yet been filled.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Dimaya's favor. An eight member court didn't decide the issue, presumably because the justices were deadlocked 4-4.

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