Supreme Court Declines To Hear Arizona Appeal To Ban Bail For Illegal Immigrants

illegal immigrant in jail - AP Photo
AP Photo

The Supreme Court has declined to consider an appeals court’s decision finding an Arizona constitutional amendment banning bail for illegal immigrants accused of serious felonies unconstitutional.

The constitutional amendment measure passed in 2006 with 78 percent of Arizonians voting in favor, according to USA Today. A 2014 federal appeals court however, ruled that the measure was unconstitutional.

Monday, the Supreme Court declined to take up an appeal of the 2014 decision, with three of the court’s more conservative justices dissenting from the rejection. Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia stated they would have considered the case.

“The Court’s refusal to hear this case shows insufficient respect to the State of Arizona, its voters, and its Constitution,” Thomas wrote in his dissent. “And it suggests to the lower courts that they have free rein to strike down state laws on the basis of dubious constitutional analysis. I respectfully dissent.”

“Our indifference to cases such as this one will only embolden the lower courts to reject state laws on questionable constitutional grounds,” he added. “This Court once emphasized the need for judicial restraint when asked to review the constitutionality of state laws.”

According to USA Today, the 2006 constitutional amendment had banned the release of illegal immigrants before their felony trials “if the proof is evident or the presumption great that the person is guilty of the offense charged.”