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Supreme Court Rules That Detained Immigrants Aren't Entitled to Bond Hearings

On Tuesday, a decision announced by a divided Supreme Court ruled that detained immigrants who face possible deportation by the United States government are not entitled to a bond hearing every six months, which means that immigrants can be held by the federal government for months or years without the chance to post bail. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has said that about 34,000 immigrants are detained daily in the United States, and 90% of detained immigrants' cases are resolved within six months. But some cases take much longer. 

The Supreme Court reversed a decision by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that ruled in the favor of immigrants, and said that immigrants should be allowed bond hearings after six months in detention, and then every six months if remain detained.

Speaking for the five-justice majority, Justice Samuel Alito wrote that immigration law does not necesitate bond hearings. Justice Stephen Breyer, who wrote a dissenting opinion about the Supreme Court ruling on behalf of fellow liberal justices Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, said that denying bail encroached on the unalienable rights set forth by the Declaration of Independence, namely the right to Liberty. The justices sent the case back to appeals court to determine whether it should continue as a class action lawsuit, and to rule on the argument that it is unconstitutional to detain immigrants with no provisions for bail.


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