(PartiallyPolitics.com) – On Monday, a Supreme Court majority appeared unwilling to strike down a federal ban that would potentially encourage illegal immigrants to stay in the country illegally, despite arguments about it violating the First Amendment.
The majority of the justices appeared to acknowledge that the statute could in some cases be read as an intrusion into the right to free speech. This is because the statute states that someone could face up to five years in prison for encouraging or inducing an unlawful immigrant to remain within the country.
However, many members of the high court claimed that the government should rarely use this particular law for prosecutions and that it was more of a comment or suggestion. They also focused on how rare such prosecutions were to claim that the law is not unconstitutionally overbroad.
Justice Amy Coney Barrett stated that “there’s an absence of prosecution,” and “of demonstrated chilling effect.”
The court’s liberal justices also stated that the statute sounded too hypothetical with Justice Sonia Sotomayor even claiming that this situation could be as innocent as a child asking his grandmother to stay in the country. “The grandmother tells her son she’s worried about the burden she’s putting on the family and the son says, ‘Abuelita, you are never a burden to us. If you want to live here and continue living here with us, your grandchildren would love having you.’” She then questioned whether this scenario could be prosecuted.
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