Many immigrants will spend the duration of their court proceedings in custody following a Supreme Court decision that on Tuesday reversed a Ninth Circuit ruling requiring periodic bond hearings.
In a 5-3 ruling, the court’s conservatives took issue with the way the Ninth Circuit had read immigration law relating to mandatory detention of certain groups of non-citizens. Justice Stephen Breyer wrote an impassioned dissent on behalf of the liberal side of the court. Justice Elena Kagan recused herself from the case.
Under the Ninth Circuit ruling, those going through immigration court proceedings were entitled to bond hearings after six months in detention and again at six month intervals after that. At those hearings, which became known as Rodriguez bonds, the federal government had to prove that the person was either dangerous to society or not likely to show up in court for an immigration hearing. Now that many of those going through the immigration court system in San Diego will no longer have bond hearings scheduled with judges, unless judges can move through cases more quickly, the number of people detained is likely to grow.