Jeff Flake - U.S. Senator ~ Arizona

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Flake Applauds U.S. Supreme Court Ruling to Reverse 9th Circuit Decision Undercutting Public Safety

Spearheaded Sheriff-backed effort to restore law enforcement’s ability to employ responsible courtroom security measures

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) today applauded the unanimous ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the decision of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in U.S. v. Sanchez-Gomez, which would have created a new burden in processing illegal border crossings and presented a serious danger to the safety of law enforcement officers and the public.

On September 28, 2017, Flake filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court urging it to dismiss a case on appeal to the 9th Circuit that would have required law enforcement to make an individualized determination on prisoner restraint. The 9th Circuit ruled that it violated the rights of prisoners to employ commonplace, thoughtfully crafted courtroom-safety policies in which they appear before a judge fitted with appropriate restraints.

Flake argued the 9th Circuit’s ruling would have made it more difficult for U.S. Marshals and Sheriffs to ensure safety in courtrooms and limited the effectiveness of successful programs like Operation Streamline, which has helped deter illegal border crossings in places like Yuma and Tucson. He was joined in the brief by the Arizona Sheriffs’ Association, the Western States Sheriffs’ Association, and the National Sheriffs’ Association.

“The unanimous decision by the Supreme Court rejecting the 9th Circuit’s careless ruling is a big win for law enforcement, border communities, and all those concerned with public safety,” said Flake. “I am glad the Court chose to preserve traditional courtroom security practices, ensuring continued safety and efficiency within the judicial system.”   

To view Flake’s amicus brief, click here

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