Thursday, November 2, 2017
A federal criminal statute makes it a felony to “encourage or induce” a noncitizen “to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law.” Is this criminal law void under the First Amendment? A Ninth Circuit panel (Reinhardt, Tashima, Berzon) invited interested parties to weigh in on the question—and they did, filing nine briefs on behalf of a variety of organizations. Nearly all of these amici curiae (friends of the court) encouraged it either to strike the statute from the books on First Amendment grounds, or to adopt various constructions to save it from unconstitutionality.
It looks like a great panel to me (although I am no doubt biased, having clerked for Judge Reinhardt) and I look forward to seeing the outcome.