Throwback Thursday! Albany Law Alum Justice Robert H. Jackson’s Dissent in Korematsu v. US (1944)

One of Albany Law School’s notable former students, Robert H. Jackson, served as the Chief Prosecutor of the Nuremberg Trials, as the United States Solicitor General, as the United States Attorney General and eventually as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (the only person in history to hold all three offices!!).  The following is an excerpt of particular contemporary relevance from Justice Jackson’s compelling dissent in the Korematsu v. United States (1944) Supreme Court decision (which infamously upheld the interment of American citizens of Japanese descent during WW II):

  • [Fred] Korematsu was born on our soil, of parents born in Japan. The Constitution makes him a citizen of the United States by nativity and a citizen of California by residence. No claim is made that he is not loyal to this country. There is no suggestion that apart from the matter involved here he is not law abiding and well disposed. Korematsu, however, has been convicted of an act not commonly a crime. It consists merely of being present in the state whereof he is a citizen, near the place where he was born, and where all his life he has lived. A citizen’s presence in this locality, however, was made a crime only if his parents were of Japanese birth. Had Korematsu been one of four – the others being, say, a German alien enemy, an Italian alien enemy, and a citizen of American-born ancestors, convicted of treason, but on parole – only Korematsu’s presence would have violated the order. The difference between their innocence and his crime would result, not from anything he did, said, or thought, different than they, but only in that he was born of different racial stock. Now, if any fundamental assumption underlies our system, it is that guilt is personal and not inheritable. Even if all of one’s antecedents had been convicted of treason, the Constitution forbids its penalties to be visited upon him. But here is an attempt to make an otherwise innocent act a crime merely because this prisoner is the son of parents as to whom he had no choice, and belongs to a race from which there is no way to resign. If Congress in peace-time legislation should enact such a criminal law, I should suppose this Court would refuse to enforce it. Id. at 242-45. #tbt

 

The Refugee Crisis and the Fear of “Otherness”

By:  Christian Sundquist

In my recently published op-ed, entitled Despite Dark History of Exclusion, Laws Demand U.S. Accepts Refugees,” I argue that reactionary calls by the majority of US state governors and other politicians to refuse admission to Syrian refugees violates both domestic (statutory and constitutional) and international law.  For more details concerning my argument, please see: http://www.albanylaw.edu/about/news/current/Pages/Op-Ed-Despite-Dark-History-of-Exclusion%2c-Laws-Demand-U-S-Accepts-Refugees.aspx

Professor Cords Blogs on Unintentionally Undermining Voluntary Compliance: Balancing Accountability and Budget

Professor Danshera Cords, currently visiting at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, has penned an interesting post on the adequacy of IRS funding on the Procedurally Taxing blog (a well known tax law blog).  Her post can be found here: http://www.procedurallytaxing.com/unintentionally-undermining-voluntary-compliance-balancing-accountability-and-budget/.

GLC Obtains $500,000 Grant for Regional Innovation Lab

Albany Law’s Government Law Center, in collaboration with the Capital Region Community Loan Fund, has obtained a $500,000 from Bank of America to develop a Regional Innovation Lab: http://albanylaw.edu/about/news/current/Pages/Government-Law-Center-and-Community-Loan-Fund–Secure-$500%2c000-Grant-to-Form-Regional-Innovation-Lab.aspx.

UAlbany and Albany Law Awarded $1.6 Million Grant

The University at Albany’s prestigious Global Institute for Health and Human Rights and Albany Law School have been awarded a $1.6 Million federal grant to develop an international health law project in the Middle East: http://albanylaw.edu/about/news/current/Pages/UAlbany-and-Albany-Law-School-Join-Forces-on-International-Health-Law-Project-in-the-Middle-East.aspx.  A number of Albany Law faculty that have expertise in international human rights and/or public health law will assist in the project.

Albany Law and UAlbany Announce Deeper Affiliation

By Christian Sundquist

Albany Law School and the University at Albany have announced a deeper affiliation! The affiliation is exciting for a number of reasons, and in particular will facilitate additional collaborative research opportunities between the institutions. Detailed information concerning the affiliation can be found here http://www.albanylaw.edu/about/news/current/Pages/University-at-Albany-and-Albany-Law-School-Announce-Deeper-Affiliation.aspx and here http://www.albany.edu/news/62851.php.

Inaugural Blog Post

By Christian Sundquist (Professor of Law and Director of Faculty Research and Scholarship)

Welcome to the inaugural post of the Albany Law Faculty Blog! This Blog creates an online space to share the diverse scholarship of Albany Law’s faculty, while engaging cutting-edge issues of law and policy.

The Albany Law faculty is unique in the breadth and impact of its scholarship, and this forum is intended to facilitate discussion of contemporary legal and social issues. We therefore welcome comments on Blog posts, being mindful that such posts will be moderated to preserve a respectful and civil dialogue.

Please feel free to follow this Blog and share posts via social media!