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Abstract

This article examines a 2013 Supreme Court decision, Chaidez v. United States, in which the Court declined to apply retroactively another recent decision, Padilla v. Kentucky. To many observers, Chaidez appears to be a discrete departure from previous Sixth Amendment right to counsel jurisprudence. On a personal level, noncitizens who pled guilty to a crime without being apprised of the plea’s removal risks are now unable to seek redress under Padilla and return to their homes in the United States. This article examines relevant Sixth Amendment and retroactivity jurisprudence and proposes an explanation for the Court’s apparent aboutface.

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