Supreme Court

Justice Scalia: "You Are Kidding Yourself If You Think" SCOTUS Won't Vote in Favor of Internment Again

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Credit: C-Span

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spoke yesterday at the University of Hawaii and when the subject of the Court's notorious 1944 decision upholding the wartime internment of Japanese-Americans came up, the conservative justice had a sobering message for his law school audience. As Audrey McAvoy of the Associated Press reports:

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."

"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.

I guess this means Justice Elena Kagan is not the only "paranoid libertarian" on the bench.