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The Trump administration scored a big win in the Supreme Court today in the case of Nielsen v. Preap. Equally important, the court’s focus on statutory language and interpretation bodes well for the Trump administration at such point as the litigation over Trump’s Declaration of National Emergency makes its way to the Supreme Court.
The Opinion is complicated, with multiple concurring opinions. But at a macro level, it split on the conservative-liberal line, with Chief Justice Roberts siding with the conservatives.
Issue - Supreme - Court
The issue before the Supreme Court was:
Whether a criminal alien becomes exempt from mandatory detention under 8 U.S.C. § 1226(c) if, after the alien is released from criminal custody, the Department of Homeland Security does not take him into immigration custody immediately.
Importance - Case - October - Atlantic - Importance
The importance of the case was previewed last October in The Atlantic, which noted the key importance of the statutory language:
The stakes are higher in a Supreme Court case to be heard next Wednesday. Nielsen v. Preap may determine whether thousands of longtime residents of the U.S. face indefinite detention without a hearing. And as in Frigaliment, the heart of the dispute is an everyday word: when. Does it mean “any time the government decides after a stated event, whether days, weeks, or years later” or “immediately upon the happening of the event”?
Nielsen - Class - Action - Group - Immigrants
Nielsen is a class action brought by a group of immigrants in the Ninth Circuit who have been or are being detained under 8 U.S.C. § 1226, a provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act. That section authorizes federal authorities to detain any alien who may be subject to “removal,” the technical term for deportation. The term covers a lot of immigrants—border crossers arrested after entering the U.S. illegally, tourists or students who have overstayed their visas, and lawful permanent residents who have committed certain crimes….
This is the...
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