Unless the composition of the Supreme Court somehow changes by the time that Trump's "national emergency" declaration to build his Wall comes before the Court for review, as seems inevitable, there can be no question that Chief Justice Roberts will be the deciding swing vote.

Which side will he stand on? Will he be on the side of upholding the Constitution's separation of powers in a democracy, and the fundamental human rights of immigrants to be free from discrimination and prejudice?

Or will be on the side of those who believe in the unlimited executive power of a strongman ruler in support of an overtly racial objective, even when this means trampling on the Constitution and overturning our democracy?

An indication, arguably, may be found near the end of Roberts' majority decision in the Muslim Ban case, Trump v. Hawaii (2018), when Roberts strongly condemned another infamous "national emergency" Supreme Court decision, Korematsu v. United States, where the Court upheld the Internment of Japanese U.S. citizens during WW2 .
Roberts wrote:

"The forcible relocation of U.S. citizens to concentration camps, solely and explicitly on the basis of race, is objectively unlawful and outside the scope of Presidential authority...Korematsu wasgravely wrong the day it was decided [and] has been overruled in the court of history..."

On February 19, only 3 days after Trump's "national emergency" declaration in order to fund a Wall which, from the first day that Trump proposed it as a candidate, was meant for no other purpose than as a monument of prejudice and humiliation directed again Latino and all other non-white immigrants, a Day of Remembrance of for the 77th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's February 19, 1942 Executive Order providing for Japanese-American internment was held at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.

See, Nichi Bei February 28:

Nikkei WWII experience parallels Latino immigrants' plight today.


At a panel discussion, many speakers brought out the obvious similarities between the racial prejudice which led to the Japanese internment and the overt racism behind Trump's Wall, family separation, and many other policies directed against Latino and other non-white immigrants today. One panel member, Reshma Shamasunder of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, said:

"...I'm continually reminded of our country's abhorrent history, and remain reminded as I hear on the news about the treatment of immigrants...The human rights crisis at the border is the most horrific of what we're seeing and really ripples across the immigrant communities."

Will Chief Justice Roberts take notice?

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law