April 30, 2013
On April 23, 2013, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Moncrieffe v. Holder. The question in this case was whether a conviction under state law that encompasses--but is not limited to--distributing marijuana without remuneration constitutes an “aggravated felony” for purposes of deportation under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
In an opinion delivered by Justice Sotomayor, the Court held by a vote of 7-2 that if a non-citizen’s conviction for a marijuana distribution offense fails to establish that the offense involved either remuneration or more than a small amount of marijuana, the conviction does constitute an “aggravated felony” for purposes of the INA. Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer and Kagan joined the majority opinion. Justices Thomas and Alito filed dissenting opinions.
To discuss the case, we have Scott Broyles, who is an Assistant Professor at Charlotte School of Law.