Sessions v. Dimaya

(Slip Opinion) OCTOBER TERM, 2017 1 Syllabus NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued. The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader. See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co., 200 U. S. 321, 337. SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES Syllabus SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERAL v. DIMAYA CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT No. 15–1498. Argued January 17, 2017—Reargued October 2, 2017— Decided April 17, 2018 The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) virtually guarantees that any alien convicted of an “aggravated felony” after entering the Unit- ed States will be deported. See 8 U. S. C. §§1227(a)(2)(A)(iii), 1229b(a)(3), (b)(1)(C). An aggravated felony includes “a crime of vio- lence (as defined in [18 U. S. C. §16] . . . ) for which the term of im- prisonment [is] at least one year.” §1101(a)(43)(f). Section 16’s defi- nition of a crime of violence is divided into two clauses—often referred to as the elements clause, §16(a), and the residual clause, §16(b). The residual clause, the provision at issue here, defines a “crime of violence” as “any other offense that is a felony and that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of commit- ting the offense.” To decide whether a person’s conviction falls within the scope of that clause, courts apply the categorical approach. This approach has courts ask not whether “the particular facts” underly- ing a conviction created a substantial risk, Leocal v. Ashcroft, 543 U. S. 1, 7, nor whether the statutory elements of a crime require the creation of such a risk in each and every case, but whether “the ordi- nary case” of an offense poses the requisite risk, James v. United States, 550 U. S. 192, 208. Respondent James Dimaya is a lawful permanent resident of the United States with two convictions for first-degree burglary under California law. After his second offense, the Government sought to deport him as an aggravated felon. An Immigration Judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals held that California first-degree bur- glary is a “crime of violence” under §16(b). While Dimaya’s appeal was pending in the Ninth Circuit, this Court held that a similar re- 2 SESSIONS v. DIMAYA Syllabus sidual clause in the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA)—defining “violent felony” as any felony that “otherwise involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another,” 18 U. S. C. §924(e)(2)(B)—was unconstitutionally “void for vagueness” under the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. Johnson v. Unit- ed States, 576 U. S. ___, ___. Relying on Johnson, the Ninth Circuit held that §16(b), as incorporated into the INA, was also unconstitu- tionally vague. Held: The judgment is affirmed. 803 F. ...

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