Shady ass lawyer, Evelyn Sineneng-Smith, was an immigration attorney, who helped mostly Filipino’s who came to the U.S., got jobs, but were here illegally, try to obtain a green card based on their working here honorably.
You see, there was a labor certification process that the U.S. used to use to allow immigrants to stay here if they were productive workers in the country. But that program expired all the way back in 2001.
Sineneng-Smith absolutely knew this shit, but she was like “Fuck it” and kept telling her clients she could help them, citing this process.
Federal law prohibits encouraging people to come here or stay here illegally. So this case hinges on whether she was in violation of said law by bullshitting her clients. Or, if the 1st amendment’s guarantee of free speech allows her to encourage her clients to stay here, even on a bullshit premise.
At one point, Justice Roberts even asked if the law would effectively prosecute a legal immigrant grandma here in the U.S. from encouraging her illegal immigrant daughter to stay here in the U.S. in defiance of immigration law, because she’s been a big help to her.
In a unanimous decision, SCOTUS decided against Sineneng-Smith, but seemed more concerned with the ninth circuit’s ruling for Sineneng-Smith, than they did with the arguments at hand. They cited that the ninth circuit who previously ruled on this case, had abused their discretion in making their ruling. That neither party had argued what the ninth circuit ruled, and therefore, neither party had a right to that ruling.
There’s a “party presentation” rule that basically says, if party A makes one argument, and party B makes another, the court is supposed to rule on which argument is better, and not make up it’s own third argument and rule for that instead.
Hear oral arguments, or read about the case, here.