Courts Have Been Hiding Behind National Security for Too Long

Faculty Publications 48

(This opinion essay was first published for the Brennan Center for Justice on August 11, 2021.)

In 2018, the Supreme Court upheld the Trump administration’s infamous travel ban excluding citizens from several predominantly Muslim countries. For two years, Donald Trump had demonstrated profound religious animus against Muslims, promising to impose a “complete shutdown” on Muslim immigration and praising stories of shooting Muslims with bullets dipped in pig’s blood. Despite the striking evidence of religious bias, the Court sustained the ban because the government offered a facially neutral explanation for the policy. The Court emphasized that its “inquiry into matters of entry and national security is highly constrained” and that the executive’s factual judgments on national security matters deserved deference.

(Continue reading the opinion essay on the Brennan Center for Justice’s page here.)