According to an article that appeared on latimes.com: “In a 9-0 decision, the justices say the crime is limited to those who knew they had stolen another person’s Social Security number. The decision limits efforts to prosecute illegal workers.”
As with most crimes, intent is a key factor. This decision should therefore come as no surprise. What is surprising is that the government let it escalate to that level. The tide is shifting with immigration. The Bush era made a bad system worse and the Obama administration promises to make it more palatable. The next few months will be telling.
The Ninth Circuit also recently came down with a decision that the Widow Penalty, that is denying or revoking the green card of a spouse of a US Citizen who dies within the first two years of marriage is unlawful. We will see what guidance the USCIS comes out with on this issue. Maybe they will take it to the Supreme Court as well since there have been differing opinions that have come out of various Circuits.