Gorsuch Sides With Liberal Justices in Immigration Ruling

Lester Mason
April 17, 2018

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 U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that an immigration statute requiring the deportation of noncitizens who commit felonies is unlawfully vague in a decision that could limit the Trump administration's ability to step up the removal of immigrants with criminal records. 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".

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The 2015 decision 'tells us how to resolve this case, ' Kagan wrote.

A federal appeals court in San Francisco previously struck down the provision as too vague, and on Monday the Supreme Court agreed. And it comes amid an ongoing focus on immigration by Trump.

After he pleaded no contest to two charges of burglary in California, the government began deportation proceedings against him.

The federal government appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that the U.S. Congress had reasonably identified a category of crimes that carry the risk of violence, and suggested that the justices should defer to the immigration authorities.

After Gorsuch joined the court, the justices heard the case re-argued. While conservatives may be frustrated by Gorsuch's vote, the court supposedly used the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia's reasoning in their opinion. An eight member court did not decide the issue, presumably because the justices were deadlocked 4-4. And this week Gorsuch joined the court's more liberal justices to deliver a majority in finding the clause too vague. Most of those focus on ousting illegal immigrants who never had permission to be in the USA, while Tuesday's case deals with legal permanent residents who committed crimes while here, and whether those are serious enough to deserve automatic deportation.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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