Prof. Robert L. Tsai authored an op-ed in the Jan. 30, 2019, edition of The Washington Post on Korematsu v. United States and how the ruling “died in the cultural realm” but was “replaced by a shinier version of the same.”
Trump v. Hawaii now stands for the assertion of executive power to wreak havoc in the lives of a despised minority population, repeating many of the same errors of judgment that members of the Supreme Court made in the 1940s. Moreover, Roberts left intact another internment ruling that had upheld a race-based curfew, and the two cases can still be used to cause mischief when a president inflames the citizenry against an unpopular group. It will now take a new generation of educators, artists and civic leaders to wipe these reprehensible decisions from the legal imagination.
Tsai is a professor of law at American University and author of “America’s Forgotten Constitutions: Defiant Visions of Power and Community” and the forthcoming “Practical Equality: Forging Justice in a Divided Nation.”