Zadvydas v. Davis

Facts of the Case

In consolidated cases arising out of detention under 8 U.S.C.S. 1231(a)(6), a detained alien and the United States Attorney General sought review of decisions of the United States Courts of Appeal for the Fifth and Ninth Circuits regarding authority to further detain an alien beyond the 90-day statutory removal period. In each case, aliens were ordered removed after having been admitted to the United States. Immigration and Naturalization authorities could not locate a country amenable to receive the deportable aliens, so the aliens were detained indefinitely. Both aliens sought habeas corpus relief under 28 U.S.C.S. § 2241, which the United States Supreme Court held was proper for jurisdictional purposes. The Fifth Circuit reversed a district court judgment, and held that continued detention was not in violation of the U.S. Constitution, and the alien sought review. In the second case, the government sought review of the Ninth Circuit’s decision that affirmed a district court judgment ordering the release of the detained alien, and held that the Constitution allowed reasonable detention beyond the 90-day period