Restorative Action Alliance Files Amicus Brief in U.S. Supreme Court Case

The Restorative Action Alliance filed today an amicus brief in a case, Ortiz v. Breslin, for which a petition has been filed requesting review by the U. S. Supreme Court.  The focus of the petition is decisions made by the New York State Department of Corrections not to release registrants on their court mandated release dates but instead to continue to imprison registrants for up to two additional years because they cannot find housing due to the state’s residency restrictions.

“The brief filed today by the Restorative Action Alliance should serve as a wake up call to the nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci.  “The brief includes compelling stories of several registrants turned away from homeless shelters that were forced to spend many additional months in prison and the harm that resulted from those decisions.”

The Restorative Action Alliance brief was authored by attorney Jill Sanders of New York who is one of three leaders of the Restorative Action Alliance (RAAA).  RAA is a non-profit organization that provides support to registrants and their families in three states — New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.  ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci joined the amicus brief in her capacity as an attorney admitted into the U.S. Supreme Court’s bar association.

According to the petition that has been submitted, there are at least 250 registrants currently being kept in prison because they cannot find or afford housing that is compliant with the state’s residency restrictions.  The petition was filed by New York Legal Aid Society attorney Lawrence Hausman on April 22, 2021.

Oritz v. Breslin – Petition for cert – April 2021

Ortiz v. Breslin – RAA’s Amicus Brief


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Whoa. A case at the Supreme Court level. And so it begins. Go, Janice!

I just hope the people can restore the prohibition upon Congressional use of certain language contained in Art 1. Grave error it was for SCOTUS to neglect the balance bound in hard fought fight in Madison v. Marbury.?Why demand a particular power & purpose if not to use it given the appropriate opportunity and evidence are each at hand?

Isn’t this a case of Constitutional rights (8th & 14th Amdts.) being violated by a non-punitive regulatory scheme? In other words, isn’t it strict scrutiny versus rational basis review? While the government doesn’t need to do much more than show up to win a rational basis case, I don’t get how they can prevail when their “rational” law clashes with one’s fundamental rights. The government is being allowed the easy route instead of having to meet strict scrutiny requirements.

This amicus, if not the case itself, will be a wonderful foot in the door to having SCOTUS perhaps start thinking more, even if not differently, about the overreach created by, and left unchecked after, Smith.

Janice, is there any timeline at all for these cases seeking “cert”? Like, when are you likely to know if it’s “granted cert” or “review denied”?
(I often feel like SCOTUS moves at its own pace and does as it wishes, world outside be damned.)
Thanks & BEST OF LUCK!!! 🤞🤞🤞