Today, the United States Supreme Court refused to consider Maricopa County’s attempt to reinstate a state law that would allow the denial bail to illegal immigrants, who are charged with certain crimes.
Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Antonin Scalia had hoped to give the matter consideration.
The decision effectively upholds a lower-court ruling that struck down the voter approved law.
Thomas called the decision “disheartening,” in an opinion he wrote on behalf of himself and Justice Scalia. He wrote, that the Court’s action could give lower courts “free rein to strike down state laws on the basis of dubious constitutional analysis.”
Apolinar Altamirano, age 29, shot the young clerk as he was counting the change Altamirano had spilled on the counter to pay for his cigarettes. According to FOX10 News, while Ronnebeck was counting the change, Altamirano pulled out a gun and opened fire.
Sources close to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office report that Altamirano, a citizen of Mexico, was charged with burglary in 2012, but the County Attorney’s office allowed him to plead guilty to an amended charge of facilitation to commit burglary and he was placed on probation for two years.
A judge had ordered notification of U.S. immigration officials, and Altamirano was given bond by federal immigration authorities after pleading guilty to the lesser charge.
“By declining to hear a challenge to the Ninth Circuit’s ruling, the high court is effectively permitting a federal appeals court to veto a law enacted to address specific concerns in Arizona,” said Maricopa County Bill Montgomery. “First, there is a concern that defendants subject to deportation by the federal government due to their immigration status may be deported when released from state custody on bail and not be present for further proceedings. Second, is my own firsthand experience in finding that defendants released on bail for a serious offense are far less likely to show up for court.”
Montgomery also noted key points raised in the dissenting opinion authored by Justice Thomas and joined by Justice Scalia. Justice Alito also dissented from the Court’s denial of review. “Among the troubling areas of concern raised in the dissenting opinion is the erosion of respect for actions by State legislatures with the related increased willingness for courts to substitute their own policy judgments. The Congress should also note that it is likely time to once again require the United States Supreme Court to review federal court decisions striking down state constitutional provisions,” Montgomery said.
Approved by nearly 80 percent of Arizona voters in 2006, Proposition 100 denies bail to individuals charged with serious felonies where “the proof is evident or the presumption great that the person is guilty of the offense charged” and “there is probable cause to believe that the person has entered or remained in the United States illegally.” Following its passage, the measure, now codified in the Arizona Constitution, Article II, Section 22 (A)4, withstood subsequent legal challenges in the Arizona Court of Appeals, the U.S. District Court and before a panel of three judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
In October, 2014, a limited en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit ruled the law was unconstitutional citing a lack of evidence indicating undocumented immigrants pose an unmanageable or significantly greater flight risk than lawful residents. The Ninth Circuit also denied a request by Maricopa County to stay the ruling pending a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court.