County of Maricopa v. Lopez-Valenzuela
IRLI submitted a friend-of-the-court brief (attached here) on behalf of the state of Arizona’s petition for a writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court that requested the court review the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s striking down of a 2006 Arizona constitutional amendment overwhelmingly approved by voters that denied bail to individuals who are charged with one of the four most serious categories of felonies, and for whom there is both probable cause that the person is illegally present in the U.S. and evident proof of guilt of the felony charged. In this case, two unlawfully present aliens brought a combined class action lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the amendment. The district court and a panel of the Ninth Circuit upheld the law against constitutional challenge, but a full panel of the Ninth Circuit reversed. Arizona appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. At the behest of the Petitioner’s counsel John Eastman of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence and the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy, IRLI filed an amicus brief supporting certiorari.
The Ninth Circuit’s decision poses a serious threat to public safety. Many criminal aliens will now reenter communities and engage in further criminal activity, at the expense and safety of citizens and lawful residents. A recent Executive Office for Immigration Review report concluded that thirty to forty percent of illegal aliens fail to show for their deportation hearing when released on bond. The number has grown by 153 percent in the last four years. That number is likely much higher for criminal aliens—the focus of Arizona’s law.