Scalia Says Internment Ruling Could Happen Again
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told law students at the University of Hawaii on Monday that the nation’s highest court was wrong to uphold the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, but he wouldn’t be surprised if the court issued a similar ruling during a future conflict.
Scalia was responding to a question about the court’s 1944 decision in Korematsu v. United States, which upheld the convictions of Gordon Hirabayashi and Fred Korematsu for violating an order to report to an internment camp.
“Well of course Korematsu was wrong. And I think we have repudiated in a later case. But you are kidding yourself if you think the same thing will not happen again,” Scalia told students and faculty during a lunchtime Q-and-A session.
Scalia cited a Latin expression meaning, “In times of war, the laws fall silent.” [“Silent enim leges inter arma.” Cicero, Pro Milone. Scalia referred to this in 2004 in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld about detention of US citzen without charge or suspension of habeas corpus. All some administration has to do is claim that there is a need. But first they have to disarm you.]
“That’s what was going on — the panic about the war and the invasion of the Pacific and whatnot. That’s what happens. It was wrong, but I would not be surprised to see it happen again, in time of war. It’s no justification, but it is the reality,” he said.
Remember this every time you hear about some group or the State itself trying to restrict the 2nd Amendment.