Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor blasted her colleagues for upholding the travel ban targeting Muslims in a 5-4 vote on Tuesday. Sotomayor, an immigrant, condemned the ban as “motivated by hostility and animus toward the Muslim faith.”
She additionally accused the justices of misconstruing legal precedent and supporting pain and suffering of many who are U.S. citizens.
Delivering a 20-minute speech to stunned and silent audience, Sotomayor boldly compared yesterday’s decision to the 1944 Korematsu vs. United States ruling to detain Japanese Americans citizens in World War II.
“By blindly accepting the government’s misguided invitation to sanction a discriminatory policy motivated by animosity toward a disfavored group, all in the name of a superficial claim of national security,” she said, “the court redeploys the same dangerous logic underlying Korematsu and merely replaces one ‘gravely wrong’ decision with another.”
Her striking comments helped retract Korematsu vs. United States for racism but not the racist, anti-Muslim travel ban. Chief Justice John Roberts said Korematsu had nothing to do with the current travel ban, but then later requested the overruling.
Trump’s executive order from 2017 initially banned those in seven Muslim-majority countries from coming to the U.S. right after he won the presidency with his rhetoric about a total and complete shutdown of Muslims coming in, Islam hating in the U.S. and fabricated story of a U.S. general shooting Muslims with bullets dipped in pig’s blood.
And Sotomayor turned to prove the discrimination from the beginning of this administration as she listed the many ways Trump was blatantly racist and promoting racist policies, including his racist tweets, his refusal to reconsider any registry or ban and his failure “to correct the reasonable perception of his apparent hostility toward the Islamic faith.”
Roberts defended the decision and said that, while Trump’s anti-Muslim statements were not overlooked, they didn’t have legal implications.
“Our Constitution demands, and our country deserves,” Sotomayor said in her written opinion, “a judiciary willing to hold the coordinate branches to account when they defy our most sacred legal commitments.”