ADC files motion for rehearing to Supreme Court Immigrants’ Groups Condemn Supreme Court Decision
Washington, D.C. — On Monday, March 22, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) filed a petition for rehearing before the Supreme Court in the case of Reno v. ADC, in which the Court ruled that immigrants can be selectively targeted for deportation in retaliation for their otherwise lawful political activities. The petition rests on the ground that, in its Feb. 24 ruling, the Court decided the First Amendment selective prosecution aspect of the case after telling the parties that it would not consider the issue. As a result, the Court silenced millions of immigrants throughout this country without even allowing them to present argument on whether they should have the right not to be discriminatorily targeted for their political views. The case arose out of a long-standing effort to deport eight immigrants in Los Angeles for their pro-Palestinian political activities.
ADC was joined by a wide range of immigrants’ rights and civil rights groups at a press conference to announce the petition for rehearing and to condemn recent the Supreme Court decision. The diversity of group present illustrates the broad impact of the Supreme Court’s decision, and included: the Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Arab American Institute, Amnesty USA, the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium, the American Muslim Council, the American Lawyers Guild, and the National Council of La Raza. The American Bar Association also issued a statement condemning the ruling today, saying that “immigrants across the nation have every reason to concerned that their access to the courts and rights to free speech are under attack.”
“It is extremely unusual for the Court to deny review on an issue, which means that the parties are barred from briefing the issue, and then go ahead and decide the issue anyway,” said David Cole, the lawyer in the case, “The reason we’re filing a petition for rehearing today is that this is fundamentally unfair.” Michel Shehadeh, ADC Western Regional Director and one of the defendants said “We are very tired of being used as pawns in this political game. The government wanted to establish a legal precedent using us as a guinea pig to target what they see as ‘undesirables,’ people with opinions that the government sees as unfavorable to them.” Jane Park of the NAPLC compared the ruling to those