Tailoring of Constitutional Rights, Deference to the Administration on Immigration Policy
1 Dublin Legal Rev. Q. 7 2011
16 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2013
Date Written: September 12, 2010
The U.S. Supreme Court throughout a series of cases established a strong doctrine of deference, giving "plenary power" to the political branches of the government on immigration issues. Consequently, the government introduces policies affecting immigrants' constitutional rights that would have been unacceptable if applied to American citizens.
It has long been accepted that the plenary power doctrine was an inactive doctrine at the late of the twentieth century. However, the exercise of this doctrine became more probable in the aftermath of September 11. To begin with, this doctrine is not a "blank check" for the legislative and the executive branches. Limitations exist, proving that the "plenary power" doctrine is plenary in theory, with limits in fact.
In the following lines, I argue that the U.S. Supreme Court steps in on immigration issues and sets bars to the "plenary power" doctrine when a violation has impact on the "domestic" constitutional law. My reasoning is based on the fact that the Court steps in whenever there is a procedural violation of the Constitution, which affects the vertical or horizontal separation of powers, and in case the infringement of constitutional rights occurs to such an extent as to unsettle the values of "public order" and "justice."
Keywords: tailoring of rights, immigration law, deference to administration
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