Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Animus Rex

Taking all the relevant evidence together, a reasonable observer would conclude that the Proclamation was driven primarily by anti-Muslim animus, rather than by the Government's asserted national-security justifications.  Even before being sworn into office, then-candidate Trump stated that "Islam hates us," warned that "[w]e're having problems with the Muslims, and we're having problems with Muslims coming into the country," promised to enact a "total and complete shut down of Muslims entering the United States," and instructed one of his advisers to find a "lega[l]" way to enact a Muslim ban.  The President continued to make similar statements well after his inauguration, as detailed above. ...

Unlike in Masterpiece, where the majority consid­ered the state commissioners' statements about religion to be persuasive evidence of unconstitutional government, the majority here completely sets aside the President’s charged statements about Muslims as irrelevant.  That holding erodes the foundational principles of religious tolerance that the Court elsewhere has so emphatically protected, and it tells members of minority religions in our country "that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community." ...

I dissent.

-- Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Sonia Sotomayor, in her dissent to the majority opinion upholding President Trump's travel ban in Trump v Hawaii, 26 June 2018

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