SCOTUS limits federal court review in immigration cases

In response to the Supreme Court’s recent decisions in two immigration cases that limit federal court review in immigration cases Sarah Paoletti, Practice Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School and director of the Transnational Legal Clinic, issued this statement:

“The Supreme Court’s two decisions denying challenges to prolonged detention of noncitizens in the United States taken together will have a devastating impact on noncitizens and their family members, while avoiding the ultimate question of whether the U.S. can continue to subject individuals subject to removal proceedings and/or orders of removal to prolonged and arbitrary detention without meaningful judicial review.”

“In Johnson v. Arteaga-Martinez, the Court builds on its precedent in Jennings v. Rodriguez and has effectively foreclosed the ability of individuals to challenge their prolonged detention in hearings whereby the government must justify its ongoing detention, teeing the subject up for a full constitutional challenge.”

“The Court was given the opportunity to address both statutory and constitutional challenges to detention provisions applied to noncitizens that were introduced through the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) … Instead, the Court chose to limit its review and ruling to whether the federal court was authorized to grant class-wide relief in light of court stripping provisions set forth in IIRIRA.”

“In its decision, the Court has further restricted the already exceptionally limited avenues for judicial review and habeas relief available to noncitizens held in situations of prolonged, and arguably arbitrary, detention … and instead such review was only available in limited circumstances in ‘individual’ challenges.”

“As Justice Sotomayor clearly explains in her dissent, the Court’s denial of judicial review on a class-wide basis to persons deemed to be ‘inadmissible,’ have committed certain crimes, or are deemed to be a flight-risk or a ‘risk to the community’ … through its expansive and problematic reading of the court-stripping provisions introduced by IIRIRA, leaves individuals whose challenges may have merit without the opportunity for relief.”

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