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Supreme Court Strikes Down Part Of Immigration Law

President Trump has hailed his appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, but Gorsuch sided against the administration Tuesday in an immigration case.

The Supreme Court declared a clause in federal law, requiring the deportation of immigrants convicted of a "crime of violence," unconstitutionally vague Tuesday.

It's a blow to the Trump Justice Department, and came at the hands, ironically of conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch, who sided with the court's liberals in a 5-4 decision.

In 2015, the court also held that a clause alluding to a "violent felony" in the Armed Career Criminal Act was unconstitutionally vague.

For background on the case, Sessions v. Dimaya, here's Oyez's summary:

"James Garcia Dimaya, a native and citizen of the Philippines, was admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident in 1992. In 2007 and 2009, Dimaya was convicted under the California Penal Code for first-degree residential burglary; both convictions resulted in two years' imprisonment. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), a non-citizen convicted of an aggravated felony is subject to deportation. The INA definition of  aggravated felony includes a 'crime of violence,' which is any offense that involves the use or substantial risk of physical force against another person or property.The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) subsequently initiated deportation proceedings against Dimaya and claimed that his burglary convictions constituted crimes of violence under the Act. The Immigration Judge held that Dimaya was deportable and that burglary constitutes a crime of violence because it always involves a risk of physical violence. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirmed.

"While Dimaya's appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was pending, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Johnson v. United States, which held  that the definition of a 'violent felony' in the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) was unconstitutionally vague. As a result, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the INA's crime of violence provision was unconstitutionally vague because it was largely similar to the violent felony provision in the ACCA that the Supreme Court struck down in Johnson. The appellate court found that both provisions denied fair notice to defendants and failed to make clear when a risk of violence could be considered substantial."

Overseas emails case vacated

Also, given President Trump signed the CLOUD Act, the court also officially vacated the major U.S. v. Microsoft case dealing with whether email stored in servers abroad could be compelled to be turned over to law enforcement.

That move was largely expected at some point.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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