Supreme Court Rules Government Can Detain Immigrants Without Bail

On Tuesday, the court rejected an previous ruling stating detained immigrants must be allowed a bond hearing every six months.

In his decision, Justice Samuel Alito said the lower court ruling was wrong because the statute being challenged does not state that a hearing is required every six months. Instead, Justice Alito said the lower court ruling was akin to rewriting relevant statutes. The three dissenting judges bitterly disagreed with the majority decision.

Justice Stephen Breyer stated “Liberty has included the right of a confined, unconvicted person to seek release on bail.” The vote came in at 5-3. Justice Elena Kagan abstained due to an undisclosed conflict. The statute in question applies to all immigrants including those who enter the U.S. legally or are seeking asylum.

The case was brought by Alejandro Rodriguez. Rodriguez is an immigrant from Mexico who was detained for three years without a bond hearing.  The government considered deporting him because of convictions for joyriding and drug possession. However, he was ultimately released and allowed to remain in the United States.

While the couts ruling said the law was wrongly interpreted, it sent the case back for the  lower court to consider whether the statues, when interpreted correctly, are unconstitutional.

Breyer countered that the Supreme Court should have taken the case to decide that very issue.


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