The Supreme Court Looks Away

This piece originally appeared at The New York Review of Books

At the close of his opinion upholding President Donald Trump’s ban on immigrants from five predominantly Muslim countries, Chief Justice John Roberts proclaimed on Tuesday that “Korematsu has nothing to do with this case.” He went on to write that Korematsu v. United States, the 1944 decision that backed the internment of Japanese citizens and immigrants based on their race, “was gravely wrong the day it was decided, has been overruled in the court of history and—to be clear—has no place in law under the Constitution.” 

Strong words. But actions speak louder. Even as he acknowledged the court’s error in Korematsu, Roberts repeated it, virtually verbatim, in Trump v. HawaiiHere, as in Korematsu, the president targeted a vast group of people based on prejudice. Here, as in Korematsu, the president defended his action by citing national security, but offered no evidence to support the assertion. And here, as in Korematsu, the court accepted those unsubstantiated national security concerns without question, applied only the most anemic judicial review, and rubber-stamped the president’s actions. Just as the court would in no other context accept such blatant racial discrimination as that imposed on Japanese Americans during World War II, so the court would in no other setting accept the rampant bias President Trump showed toward the Muslim faith in the travel ban. In both cases, the court deferred to the prejudice of the powerful and abdicated its duty to protect the rights of the vulnerable. 

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Anonymous

The Supreme Court decision may have saved the lives of many Americans as it is well known that even with the school house shootings more people were murdered by Muslims in the last 50 years than by members of every other group combined both in the U.S. and the world. Islam is a culture of murder.

Anonymous

That is a lie you ignorant moron.

Dr. Timothy Leary

However misguided, it's good that President Trump is trying to protect America. Now he needs to try to protect us from: unemployment, opiate addiction, inflation, insider trading, medicare fraud,
corporate tax dodging, purse snatching and Fergusonite rampages.

Anonymous

SCOTUS: "YOYO America! (You're on your own)."

Anonymous

The supreme court decision just revealed that bigotry now prevails in its chambers. Law is the voice of the people and justice makes it heard. Looks like the supreme courtbis not interested in being just. To all the maniacs who think Islam is violent go and meet a Muslim and you will see how wrong you are.

Anonymous

On September 11 over 3,000 maniacs thought that Islam is violent. Various victims of "honor killings" also think Islam is violent. More people were killed by Muslims than by Christians, Jews, Hindus, etc, etc, etc. combined. I am not bigoted, I am afraid.

Anonymous

Well, people from Malaysia can still visit the US, as well as people from Qatar.....their citizens aren't affected from this ban.

Anonymous

I really believe Trump's next Supreme Court Justice nominee is more about giving the rich more ammunition to screw over the American people than it is about abortion, after all the Republicans are the ones that gave us abortion in the first place!

Anonymous

Which is it?
"Japanese citizens and immigrants" or "Japanese Americans"?
Chief Justice John Roberts is right, “Korematsu has nothing to do with this case.” because he is s U.S. Citizen who was born in Oakland. CA that being said he likely wasn't a Japanese citizen or an immigrant (issei), the law as it is currently applies, only to non-citizens who have no right to enter the US. U.S Citizens do have the right to enter the US, and cannot be denied entry, even US Citizens accused of crimes or with arrest warrants inside the US have the right to enter.

Secondly, there are 48-50 Muslim majority countries in this world, and not all of them are banned so any attempt to label this as a Muslim ban is dubious since Malaysians, Indonesians etc...are still allowed to entry the US.

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