No system is perfect, of course. It is ironic that the California attorney general who pushed the internment of Japanese and signed internment orders as Governor was Earl Warren. The irony is that Warren was the Chief Justice at the time of the landmark 1954 segregation case of Brown versus Board of Education
. As a child, I saw the billboards that conservatives paid for which read: "Impeach Earl Warren"--a further irony.
Irony is inescapable in human history. In 1882, Congress passed and President Arthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act. It didn't exclude all Chinese, just Chinese laborers. It was never challenged, because, of course, Chinese laborers didn't understand these things, and couldn't afford lawyers. Irony rears its head in that labor recruiters immediately began recruiting Japanese to come to California to replace the Chinese labor that was no longer available. The now liberal west coast was a hotbed of racial prejudice against east Asians in that era, and the entire "Yellow Peril" racial paranoia started there. Yet more irony comes from the decision in Yick Wo versus Hopkins
(1886) in which a more prosperous Chinese gentleman who could afford a lawyer challenged a ruling by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors prohibiting anyone from owning a laundry in a wooden building--at that time a direct attack on the Chinese, as almost no other ethnic or national group ran laundries. The Supremes had never had the opportunity to review the Chinese Exclusion Act, but they came down on the Board of Supervisors like a ton of bricks. The lawyers of the representative of the Board, Mr. Hopkins, were effectively the lawyers for the Board, argued that laundries in wooden buildings were a fire hazard. While this was true, Yick's laundry had passed every fire inspection, and as his lawyer pointed out, no similar ordinance applied to cook shops and restaurants in wooden building, a more common fire hazard. The Court found for the plaintiff in a unanimous decision, pointing out that the ordinance was discriminatory in its application, and that the question of whether or not the Board had a legal right to pass such an ordinance was irrelevant. More irony comes from the citation of Yick Wo
by the Warren court in the 1954 ruling. Finally, the decision in Yick Wo
was based on the first paragraph of the fourteenth amendment (quoted above), and the decision explicitly said that one may not discriminate on the basis of nationality. The most recent irony has been the citation of Yick Wo
in appeals against President Plump's attempt to impose a travel ban on Muslims.
The Japanese quickly became the new bogey men of the West Coast racists, and the reliable San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance mandating separate schools for the children of Japanese immigrants. Theodore Roosevelt, who was President by then, had gotten pretty sick of the California racists, especially as he had gotten the respect of the Japanese Imperial government (if not the people of Japan) for getting the Japanese and the Russians together to negotiate an end to the Russo-Japanese War. By 1924, it had gotten bad enough that all new Chinese and Japanese immigration was prohibited by the National Origins Quota. The Japanese who were interned were almost all of them American citizens, although the oldest generation may have been born in Japan.
We have the same thing going on with the god squad. They are fighting in the last ditch to maintain their entrenched religious bigotry. The ruling in Lemon versus Kurtzman
established a test for whether or not an act or a ruling violates the establishment clause--that's what the Lemon Test is all about. The god squad will continue to whine about that and the Kitzmiller
ruling because they have not one scrap of evidence for their imaginary friend, and therefore not one scrap of evidence for any design or any guiding intelligence. Their position is bankrupt, which leaves attempts to divert the discussion as their only rhetorical tool.