In an infamous case, the U.S. Supreme Court started its majority opinion by noting that the executive authorities “charged with the primary responsibility” for national security said that the challenged order of exclusion was warranted. The dissent explained that the policy was truly based on “prejudice.” But, the high court upheld the discriminatory policy, which was motivated by animosity toward a disfavored group, based on a superficial claim of national security (as the “urgency of the situation demanded”).
That case was Korematsu v. United States, decided in 1944. There, the court upheld the policy of relocation and detention of U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry. The infamous case had not been formally overruled—until Tuesday. The court this week, in response to the dissent’s comparing the President Donald Trump travel ban to the 1944 ruling, said:
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