What is happening in the courts right now goes beyond any debate over a “ban” on Muslim immigration. The courts have denuded the president of his plenary power over setting the refugee cap, which Trump applied evenly to every country included in his new executive order. Obviously, all the national security problems we have are from predominantly Muslim countries in the Middle East. But let’s put that aside for a moment. Even if this was a ban on Muslim immigration, it would be legal. That is settled law of a sovereign nation state.
We have already cited from endless case law and statements from our founders on the plenary right of a nation to determine who enters the country. I’d like to add some new source material that speaks to the current constitutional crisis:
In Knauff v. Shaughnessy (1950), the Supreme Court made it clear that there is no right whatsoever to immigrate:
And yes, the exclusion could be because any consideration, even race. Remember, we are talking about law and Constitution, not politics, prudence, or morality. From Ju Toy v. United States (1905):
Thus, not only is the right to exclude — even for bad reason — deemed settled law in the most emphatic terms, resting on the most foundational principles of sovereignty, but it is not reviewable by the courts. Two years prior, in “The Japanese Immigrant Case,” the court used the exact same language and declared that, based on an uninterrupted stream of near-unanimous decisions, the constitutionality of such an exclusion “is no longer open to discussion in this Court.”
It's amazing how liberals worship the concept of stare decisis (court precedent) once a single liberal court overturns years of common sense case law and the plain meaning of the Constitution.
In 1904 (Turner v. Williams), the court made it clear that it is facially absurd to assert a religious liberty, equal protection, or freedom of speech right to affirmatively immigrate to this country. This case speaks directly to what the modern courts are ignoring:
It's amazing how liberals worship the concept of stare decisis (court precedent) once a single liberal court overturns years of common sense case law and the plain meaning of the Constitution. But they have no respect for case law that is most firmly embedded in our sovereignty in the most emphatic language, including the courts own admission that they have absolutely no jurisdiction over the issue. All of this case law remains unsettled and unexplained by the civil disobedience of today’s modern judiciary. As I’ve noted before, this case law survived even the liberal Warren-era right up to this generation.
Some critics might suggest that we can’t draw any conclusions from the exclusion acts of the late 1880s because that’s when America was evil and racist. “Just like the courts upheld slavery and were wrong they are wrong about this,” some might suggest. “What about when the courts upheld the internment of the Japanese in the Korematsu case?”
There is a one-word answer to these questions: Sovereignty.
What liberals are missing is that there is a difference between abridging the rights of Americans or even immigrants and a right to affirmatively enter someone else’s country. Of course, we can’t just throw people into labor camps and indefinitely detain them without due process. But we don’t have to allow people into our country. Immigration is quite a different issue than indefinite detention. It’s like saying because you are not allowed to kidnap a visitor of your house and lock him in your attic you must allow anyone into your house in the first place.
As I’ve cited many times, Justice Robert Jackson, the famous Nuremberg prosecutor who was a champion of due process rights and wrote the dissent in Korematsu v. United States, said that “Due process does not invest any alien with a right to enter the United States, nor confer on those admitted the right to remain against the national will.” Shaughnessy v. Mezei, 345 US 222-223 (1953) (Jackson, J., dissenting).] Scalia, in his Zadvydas dissent, made this same distinction between indefinite detention and the right to enter or remain in the country against the national will. Even the majority opinion at the time only granted relief because the individual legal permanent resident was being held longer than six months in prison (but only because his home country would not repatriate him).
Some might feel uncomfortable with the notion that there are no limitations on discriminatory, absurd, or “mean” immigration selection criterion. But those are political or sensibility arguments, not legal arguments. By definition, any limitation whatsoever on the power to exclude necessarily means that a foreign national has some sort of affirmative claim to assert jurisdiction and adjudicate his way into entry. As John Marshall, the judicial strongman himself, said:
But again, we are not even talking about a complete shutoff of Muslim immigration. We are no longer a sovereign nation and a sovereign people when courts, relatives of foreign nationals, taxpayer-funded refugee groups, and states can proactively demand any form of immigration they so desire.