The void for vagueness doctrine is a rule implementedby the constitution, that requires criminal laws to state exactly what conductis punishable. If a criminal law violates the requirements, it is saidto be called “void for vagueness”. The vagueness doctrine is based on the dueprocesses of the fifth and fourteenth amendments, that are placed in the U.S.Constitution. The vagueness doctrine also helps to prevent arbitraryenforcement of the laws, this requires fair notice of what is punishable by lawor what’s not punishable by law.
(Cornell Law School, 2017)Insimpler terms, the void for vagueness doctrine says that “alaw cannot be enforced if it is it is so vague or confusing that the averageperson could not figure out what is being prohibited or what the penalties arefor breaking that law.” (Rottenstein Law Group, 2014) There are two waysthat a law can be unconstitutionally vague. The first way a law can be vague isif it doesn’t thoroughlyexplain or say what behavior that the law is meant to affect. If a typicalaverage person cannot decide from reading the law, what they should or shouldn’t do concerning the law, then the law is saidto be vague and it violates the due process. The second way a law can be vague,is if it does not completely explain a certain procedure that the courts andlaw enforcement must abide to. (Rottenstein Law Group, 2014) Recently, the void for vaguenessdoctrine was brought about and applied to the U.
S. Immigration laws. The U.S. government was targetingnoncitizens that obtained criminal convictions, and ordering them to be removedfrom the country.
During Barack Obama’s presidency, his administration deportedover 2.5 million noncitizens. The Supreme Court foundthat Obama’s administration went overboard with thedeportations and had set aside for the removal of criminal offenders. This happeningwas inconsistent with the immigration statute. (Johnson, 2017)