Supreme Court strikes down bond hearings for detainees

Supreme_Court2In a major immigration case, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Jennings v. Rodriguez, a class action lawsuit challenging the federal government’s practice of jailing immigrants while they litigate their deportation cases. It ruled that detainees held by the government for possible deportation are not entitled to a bond hearing even after months or years of detention. Civil rights advocates, such as the ACLU, question whether it is constitutional to “lock up immigrants indefinitely.”

The Washington Post reported on the Feb. 27 ruling, noting, “In a splintered 5 to 3 decision, the court’s conservatives said that the relevant statute does not even ‘hint,’ as Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote, at the broad reading of the right to bail hearings adopted by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.”

The American Civil Liberties Union argued, “In the appeals court, we fought for and won on the principle that immigrants should be given the opportunity to present their case to a judge, allowing that judge to decide whether the detainee could be released without risk of flight or threat to public safety.”

Fracking Brings Lawsuit Over National Forest Access

elk-nps2Five environmental groups are suing the federal government in hopes of stopping leasing some 20,000 acres of the Santa Fe National Forest for fracking, the process of extracting natural gas by applying pressure via water injection. The injections shatter rock formations and free the gas. In the new lawsuit, the Courthouse News website backgrounds that “… the U.S. Bureau of Land Management created 13 new mineral leases in the national forest in October 2014, without required environmental impact studies and without considering the harmful effects of fracking… in doing so, the BLM, the Forest Service, and the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture violated the National Environmental Policy Act and the Administrative Procedure Act, the groups say.”

The groups bringing the lawsuit are the WildEarth Guardians, Amigos Bravos, Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment, and the Sierra Club. Read more here:

CNS – Greens Fight Fracking in National Forest