In her dissent to the majority’s ruling on the travel ban, Sotomayor compared the decision to the Korematsu v. US case, saying there are “stark parallels” in the reasoning.
“As here, the exclusion order was rooted in dangerous stereotypes about a particular group’s supposed inability to assimilate and desire to harm the United States,” Sotomayor wrote.
The comparison triggered an angry response from Roberts, who chastised his colleague for using “rhetorical advantage” and said that Korematsu had “nothing to do with this case.”
Roberts was troubled enough with the comparison, however, that he did something that no party involved in the travel ban case had expressly asked for: He announced that the Supreme Court was overruling Korematsu.
…For her part, Sotomayor allowed that Roberts took an “important step of finally overruling” Korematsu. But it wasn’t enough, she said.
“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, the Court redeploys the same dangerous logic underlying Korematsu and merely replaces one gravely wrong decision with another,” she said. She was joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Under normal circumstances a justice ends a dissent with “I respectfully dissent.” Sotomayor said simply, “I dissent.