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Luna Torres v. Lynch

Supreme Court of the United States
136 S. Ct. 1619 (2016)


Facts

Jorge Luna Torres (plaintiff) was a lawful permanent resident of the United States. Luna pleaded guilty to attempted arson, in violation of a state law. Luna was sentenced to one day in prison and five years of probation. Several years later, immigration officials discovered Luna’s conviction and initiated removal proceedings. Luna applied for cancellation of his removal. The immigration judge found Luna ineligible for cancellation because his conviction qualified as an aggravated felony under federal law. Luna appealed. Luna argued that the federal crime of arson, which was listed as an aggravated felony, stated that the destroyed building had to have been used in interstate commerce. The state crime under which Luna was convicted, however, did not include an interstate requirement. Thus, according to Luna, even though the state crime mirrored the federal crime in every other way, the lack of an interstate commerce element meant that the state crime could not count as an aggravated felony. The lower courts upheld the immigration judge’s ruling. The Supreme Court then granted cert.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Kagan, J.)

Dissent (Sotomayor, J.)

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