06/19/2013 12:56 pm ET

3-Judge Panel Upholds Amendment Denying Bail To Some Undocumented Immigrants


Arizona voters are legally entitled to deny bail to some people who are in this country illegally, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.

In a split decision, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a 2006 voter-approved constitutional amendment barring judges from releasing those accused of certain serious offenses "if the person charged has entered or remained in the United States illegally and if the proof is evident or the presumption great as to the present charge."

Attorney Cecilia Wang of the American Civil Liberties Union argued it was unconstitutional to deny bail solely on the basis of illegal presence. Wang said judges should take into account each individual's circumstance to determine if he or she is likely to appear at trial or is a flight risk.

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