Thursday, May 19, 2016
This morning, the Supreme Court decided Torres v. Lynch. Justice Kagan wrote the opinion for the majority:
"In this case, we must decide if a state crime counts as an aggravated felony when it corresponds to a specified federal offense in all ways but one— namely, the state crime lacks the interstate commerce element used in the federal statute to establish legislative jurisdiction (i.e., Congress’s power to enact the law). We hold that the absence of such a jurisdictional element is immaterial: A state crime of that kind is an aggravated felony."
Justice Sotomayor, joined by Justices Thomas and Breyer, dissented.
For background on the case, click here.
For commentary on the decision, see
Opinion analysis: An emerging divide over text vs. context in interpreting federal immigration law? by Steve Vladeck on SCOTUSBlog