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Immigration Law

BREAKING: Supreme Court Reverses CA9 on Periodic Bond Hearings for Detained Aliens - Jennings v. Rodriguez

Jennings v. Rodriguez - "In this case we are asked to interpret three provisions of U. S. immigration law that authorize the Government to detain aliens in the course of immigration proceedings. All parties appear to agree that the text of these provisions, when read most naturally, does not give detained aliens the right to periodic bond hearings during the course of their detention. But by relying on the constitutional avoidance canon of statutory interpretation, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that detained aliens have a statutory right to periodic bond hearings under the provisions at issue.

Under the constitutional-avoidance canon, when statutory language is susceptible of multiple interpretations, a court may shun an interpretation that raises serious constitutional doubts and instead may adopt an alternative that avoids those problems. But a court relying on that canon still must interpret the statute, not rewrite it. Because the Court of Appeals in this case adopted implausible constructions of the three immigration provisions at issue, we reverse its judgment and remand for further proceedings."

- ALITO, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, except as to Part II. ROBERTS, C. J., and KENNEDY, J., joined that opinion in full; THOMAS and GORSUCH, JJ., joined as to all but Part II; and SOTOMAYOR, J., joined as to Part III–C. THOMAS, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment, in which GORSUCH, J., joined except for footnote 6. BREYER, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which GINSBURG and SOTOMAYOR, JJ., joined. KAGAN, J., took no part in the decision of the case.