The Supreme Court has sided with an immigrant convicted of residential burglary and facing deportation and found the term “crime of violence” was unconstitutionally vague.
The court ruled 5-4, with Justice Elena Kagan delivering the opinion. The justices affirmed a decision from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which found in 2015 that a provision of federal immigration law subjecting immigrants to deportation if they are convicted of a “crime of violence” was too vague.
Justice Neil Gorsuch, nominated by President Trump and considered a member of the court’s conservative wing, cast the deciding vote by joining Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Kagan, who make up the court’s liberal wing.
Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Anthony Kennedy dissented.