Right to Counsel

Emergence of a Deportation Gideon: The Impact of Padilla v. Kentucky on Right to Counsel Jurisprudence

In Padilla v. Kentucky, the United States Supreme Court imposed a Sixth Amendment mandate on criminal defense attorneys to warn their clients of the immigration consequences of a criminal plea. Rooted in Sixth Amendment precedent, the Court's new constitutional requirement arose principally out of its concern that the unique nature of immigration consequences required heightened due process protections. This Comment analyzes Padilla's specific impact on the concept of a right to appointed counsel in deportation proceedings. Although no deportation Gideon right existed before Padilla, signs indicate that the Court may be willing to revisit the issue. After explaining Padilla's relation to right to counsel jurisprudence, the Comment explores how the Court's newly heightened concerns over due process protections in immigration proceedings will affect its future analysis of the right as applied to the immigration context. This Comment concludes with an analysis of the manner in which the Court might come to recognize a categorical right to counsel in deportation proceedings.