Monday, February 24, 2020

Supreme Court to Hear Oral Argument in First Amendment/Immigration Case


The Supreme Court hears oral argument tomorrow in United States v. Sineneng-Smith.  My colleague Jack Chin previewed the case for SCOTUSBlog:

"United States v. Sineneng-Smith offers a master class in interpreting a creaky, complex statutory structure.

Put simply, the issue is this. 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv) imposes criminal penalties on any person who “encourages or induces an alien 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 in is or will be in violation of law.” Is this, as the government argues with the support of a single amicus brief, a narrow provision prohibiting criminal solicitation and aiding and abetting? Or is it, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit found and a range of amici argue, a constitutionally overbroad statute criminalizing a wide range of protected expression, including political speech, attorney representation, charitable and religious counseling, support and outreach, and grandmothers urging their foreign-born grandchildren not to leave them?"


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