High Court Refuses to Review Ruling Striking Down Arizona Law Denying Bail to Undocumented Immigrants



AP reported on a Supreme Court immigration story that went largely ignored yesterday.  The Court refused to review a court of appeals decisions striking down an Arizona law that denied bail to immigrants who are unlawfully in the country.  The Court refused to hear the case and possibly reinstate the 2006 law after the Ninth Circuit struck it down last year

The case was County of Maricopa, Arizona v. Lopez-Valenzuela.  Justice Alito dissented from the denial of certiorari.  Justice Thomas, joined by Justice Scalia, also dissented from denial of certiorari and lamented that "The Court’s refusal to hear this case shows insufficient respect to the State of Arizona, its voters, and its Constitution. And it suggests to the lower courts that they have free rein to strike down state laws on the basis of dubious constitutional analysis."

In 2006, Arizona voters amended their State Constitution to render ineligible for bail those individuals charged with “serious felony offenses” who have “entered or remained in the United States illegally and if the proof is evident or the presumption great as to the present charge.” A divided en banc panel of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held this provision unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause.

The Supreme Court  had previously refused to grant a stay of the Ninth Circuit ruling in the case.


This post originally appeared on Immigration Prof Blog. Reprinted with permission.

About The Author

Kevin R. Johnson

Kevin R. Johnson is Dean, Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law, and Professor of Chicana/o Studies. He joined the UC Davis law faculty in 1989 and was named Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in 1998. Johnson became Dean in 2008. He has taught a wide array of classes, including immigration law, civil procedure, complex litigation, Latinos and Latinas and the law, and Critical Race Theory. In 1993, he was the recipient of the law school's Distinguished Teaching Award.

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