The Supreme Court on Tuesday invalidated a provision of federal law that requires the mandatory deportation of immigrants who have been convicted of some "crimes of violence", holding that the law is unconstitutionally vague.
It's a blow to the Trump Justice Department, and came at the hands, ironically of conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch, who sided with the court's liberals in a 5-4 decision.
In 2007 and 2009, he pleaded no contest to charges of residential burglary in California, and an immigration judge determined that Dimaya should be deported because of his two state court convictions. An immigration judge determined that Dimaya was removable from the U.S. because of his two state court convictions.
Justice Elena Kagan praised the ruling in her official opinion on the case, saying a conviction of a loosely-defined "violent crime" would result in the "virtual certainty" of deportation. In 2010, the Obama administration brought removal proceedings against Dimaya.
Also, given President Trump signed the CLOUD Act, the court also officially vacated the major USA v. Microsoft case dealing with whether email stored in servers overseas could be compelled to be turned over to law enforcement.
The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2015 that the definition as applied to legal immigrants was so vague that it violated their rights to due process of law under the U.S. Constitution.
The appeals court relied on a decision that same year by the U.S. Supreme Court, which found that a similar provision in a federal criminal sentencing law was overly broad.
The decision is a loss for President Donald Trump's administration, which has emphasized stricter enforcement of immigration law.
The government argued that Dimaya could be removed from the country because his convictions qualified as crimes of violence.
The Supreme Court heard arguments in the case on October 2, the first day of its current nine-month term.
The case was initially argued in January 2017 by a court that was short a member because of Scalia's death and the refusal of Senate Republicans to act on Obama's nomination of Judge Merrick Garland.