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Supreme Court to Review the Issue of Bond Hearings for Detained Immigrants

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The Supreme Court has agreed to review a recent Ninth Circuit Decision that allows for people facing deportation to be released for a bond hearing after having been detained for 6 months. The Department of Justice is leading the efforts in bringing this appeal before the Supreme Court, urging that 1) the decision goes against statutory text and 2) the ruling would undercut the government’s border-control efforts because it allows for not only those immigrants that have been apprehended at the border to be freed but also those that have been convicted of crimes.

In this decision, Rodriguez v. Robbins, the appeals court also required the government to meet a tough legal test to justify the continued detention of an alien. Specifically, the three-judge panel said the government must show “clear and convincing evidence” that a person is either a flight risk or a danger to the community. In making its ruling and establishing this tough legal test, the Ninth Circuit had reasoned that allowing for indefinite detention would raise serious constitutional issues.

The Supreme Court is expected to hear the case, to be known as Jennings v. Rodriguez, in the nine-month term that starts in October, with arguments likely around the time of the Nov. 8 election.

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