The Supreme Court is back in session and will resume hearing cases, including two they heard, but didn’t rule on due to the court missing a ninth justice. Now, with the addition of Neil Gorsuch, the Court is prepared to hear these cases re-argued.
One case, Sessions v. Dimaya, challenges the constitutionality of a statute which is used to automatically deport immigrants-- including legal immigrants. The second, Jennings v. Rodrigues, addresses the rights of immigrants to be released from custody on bond. The alternative? Being detained indefinitely.
While it’s unclear which way the Court will rule, the newly appointed Justice Gorsuch is expected to be pivotal.
"Each of these cases raises very important issues that are hard to predict how a conservative justice is going to decide," said Kevin Johnson, Dean of the UC Davis School of Law.
Johnson, who spoke to Take Two host A Martínez, said that the results of these cases could indicate how much power the judicial branch is willing to allow the executive in carrying out immigration law. It also indicates how many rights they're willing to afford immigrants.
"One might think that, after 200 years, we had a good sense of whether the Constitution applies to immigrants or not," said Johnson. "And there's been sort of a slow process in court decisions expanding the rights of immigrants."