Beth Werlin, Deputy Legal Director for the American Immigration Council, discusses the recent...
Court Holds that Padilla v. Kentucky Does Not Apply Retroactively to Certain Convictions
Chaidez v. United States, 568 U.S. ___, 133 S. Ct. 1103 (2013)
In a 7-2 decision written by Justice Kagan, the Court held that Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. 356 (2010), does not apply retroactively to collateral review of convictions final at the time of that decision. Padilla found that a noncitizen could raise a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel under the Sixth Amendment if his criminal defense attorney failed to advise him of the immigration consequences of a guilty plea. In Chaidez, the Court found that its previous decision went beyond applying the existing standards for ineffective assistance of counsel claims in Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984). Because the preliminary question answered by the Padilla Court – whether the Sixth Amendment right to counsel encompassed advice about collateral consequences of convictions – was not settled at the time of its decision in 2010, it held that Padilla created a new rule of criminal procedure and thus did not apply in collateral challenges to past convictions under the principles set forth in Teague v. Lane, 489 U.S. 288 (1989).
The case left many issues and arguments unresolved.
Justices Sotomayor and Ginsberg dissented.