Tuesday, May 1, 2012

SCOTUS to decide Padilla retroactivity - Scotus Blog

I suppose it is impossible to expect the nation's chief law enforcement officer to agree that hundreds of aliens facing deportation should get a second shot after their lawyers' incompetence sent them on the road back to wherever they were born.  But maybe the Supreme Court (GSU) will see the due process point. - gwc
New look at lawyers’ advice : SCOTUSblog:
by Lyle Denniston

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to settle a dispute among lower courts on whether to give more immigrants the benefit of a ruling that requires their lawyers to advise them more clearly on what can happen if they plead guilty to a crime.  At issue in the new case of Chaidez v. United States (11-820) is the potential retroactivity of the Court’s 2010 ruling in Padilla v. Kentucky.   This was the only new case granted on Monday; it will be heard and decided in the new Term starting October 1.
In the Padilla decision, the Court ruled that the Sixth Amendment right to counsel includes a right for a non-citizen living in the U.S. to be advised by a lawyer of the consequences under immigration law of pleading guilty to a crime that could lead to deportation.  The majority noted that, under dramatic changes recently in immigration law, deportation is virtually automatic after one is convicted of an ”aggravated felony.”
Relying on the constitutional standard that a lawyer’s professional advice to clients must satisfy a minimum level of performance, the Court in Padilla found that prevailing standards dictate that a lawyer for a non-citizen faced with a criminal charge must advise that individual of the risk of being deported if a plea of guilty is entered.   If the immigration law outlook is not clear, the Court said, the lawyer at least must tell the client that there could be adverse immigration consequences.

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