Saturday, November 15, 2014
Supreme Court Refuses to Stay Ninth Circuit Ruling Invalidating Arizona Proposition 100's "No Bail for Undocumented Immigrants" Provision
Lyle Denniston on SCOTUSblog.com reports that the Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to block a federal appeals court ruling striking down an amendment to the Arizona constitution that prohibits the pretrial release of undocumented immigrants charged with serious crimes.
The Court was dealing at this point only with a plea by Arizona officials to delay the ruling at issue, by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. At issue in the case is the voter-approvcd “Proposition 100,” made a part of the Arizona constitution in November 2006. Passed by a margin of seventy-eight to twenty-two percent, the measure banned state courts from ordering the release on bail of any individual ruled to be in the country illegally, if he had been accused of a serious crime, proof of the crime was “evident,” and there were a “great presumption” that he was guilty.
The Supreme Court, by refusing the state’s request for a delay, allowed the decision by the en banc Ninth Circuit nullifying the bail ban to go into effect. That will mean that undocumented immigrants will now be able to seek bail from a judge while awaiting trial on criminal charges.
Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justice Antonin Scalia, filed a separate statement, but it was not a dissent. They expressed regret that the Court does not have a strong inclination to grant review of lower court rulings striking down state laws, as it does when a federal law has been nullified by a lower court.