An Immigration Case and Legislation

The Supreme Court is heard oral arguments on US v Sineneng-Smith last Tuesday. The case involves the convictions of a woman mail fraud and inducing illegal immigration. The woman billed illegal immigrants $6,800 to file paperwork for an expired pathway to legal residence.  Two of her victims has also testified that, but for the woman’s efforts and billings, they would have left the US otherwise.  That last formed the basis of the woman’s conviction of inducing illegal immigration.

The 9th Circuit struck the second conviction, holding the law unconstitutionally overbroad in violation of the First Amendment.

In the course of those oral arguments, came this item of primary interest, at least to me:

Justice Stephen Breyer noodled the idea of narrowing the law so “it is limited to solicitation of a crime.”

That may or may not be a useful thing to do, but it’s for the political branches of our Federal government to legislate, not for the judicial branch. Leave it to a…liberal…Justice to think it’s OK to modify a law from the bench.

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