The US Supreme Courtroom ruled unanimously Monday in opposition to a non-US citizen who was contesting his indictment for illegal re-entry into the nation.
The case, US v. Palomar-Santiago, concerned Refugio Palomar-Santiago, a Mexican citizen who turned a lawful everlasting resident in 1990. In 1998, an immigration decide discovered that Palomar-Santiago had dedicated an aggravated felony underneath the federal immigration legal guidelines when he was convicted for driving underneath the affect. Palomar-Santiago was discovered residing within the US in 2018 and was indicted for illegally re-entering the nation after removing.
Palomar-Santiago sought to dismiss his indictment on the bottom that his unique removing order was invalid underneath an earlier case of Leocal v Ashcroft. In that case, it was held that underneath the related federal statute, DUI convictions comparable to that of Palomar-Santiago’s usually are not aggravated felonies. He sought to dismiss the indictment on the idea that the US Courtroom of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit had dominated that defendants like Palomar-Santiago, whose removing orders lacked a authorized foundation, didn’t must fulfill the primary two circumstances of the federal statute criminalizing re-entry. The district courtroom dismissed the indictment, and that discovering was affirmed upon enchantment to the Ninth Circuit.
However the Supreme Courtroom disagreed and located that every one three circumstances within the statutory textual content are obligatory. With respect to the Ninth Circuit’s rule, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote, “when Congress makes use of ‘obligatory language’ in an administrative exhaustion provision, ‘a courtroom could not excuse a failure to exhaust.’”
The choice reverses the Ninth Circuit’s precedent with respect to collateral challenges to re-entry convictions and an opinion analysis by Jennifer Koh at Scotusblog says the direct implications of the courtroom’s ruling are probably fairly slender.