Justice Scalia on wartime internment camps: You’re ‘kidding yourself’ if you think it wont happen again


Justice Antonin Scalia
Photo: Downtrend.com

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia warned law students Monday evening that the high court could again authorize wartime internment camps like those seen in the U.S. during World War II.

While answering a question at the law school at the University of Hawaii about the 1944 Supreme Court case Korematsu v. United States  – which upheld the use of Japanese-American internment camps – Scalia said that though the court’s decision was wrong, “[Y]ou are kidding yourself if you think the same thing will not happen again.”

According to The Blaze:

Scalia said the nation’s highest court was wrong to uphold the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, but something similar could easily happen during a future conflict.

In a 1944 decision in Korematsu v. United States, the Supreme Court upheld the convictions of Gordon Hirabayashi and Fred Korematsu for violating an order to report to an internment camp.

He also cited a Latin expression meaning, “In times of war, the laws fall silent.”

“Well of course Korematsu was wrong. And I think we have repudiated in a later case. But you are kidding yourself if you think the same thing will not happen again,” Scalia told students and faculty during a lunchtime Q-and-A session.

“That’s what was going on – the panic about the war and the invasion of the Pacific and whatnot. That’s what happens. It was wrong, but I would not be surprised to see it happen again, in time of war. It’s no justification, but it is the reality,” he added, according to the Associated Press.

Watch: Brain-dead on campus: Students sign petition to ‘execute’ gun owners

Janeen Capizola

"And though she be but little, she is fierce." And fun! This conservative-minded political junkie, mom of three, dancer and one-time NFL cheerleader holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science. [email protected] Twitter: @JaneenBPR


193 thoughts on “Justice Scalia on wartime internment camps: You’re ‘kidding yourself’ if you think it wont happen again

  1. Jim says:

    Americans are the most paranoid frightened people in the world . Of course it will happen again.

    1. RadarRecon says:

      Sounds like you’re saying it couldn’t happen, they you say it will.
      Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.

      1. Jim says:

        My statement is clear. Learn to read.

    2. Denise Bowen says:

      Americans, huh? T
      Here’s a big F U, my man.

      1. Jim says:

        What did you do after 9/11? Give up your freedoms. How’s the patriot act. Illegal wiretapping. Open up Guantánamo and tortured people. Almost bankrupted your nation. Those are not the actions of a brave people.

        1. RadarRecon says:

          Nuthin’ to do but sound off on U.S. politics? Seems like that’s all a lot of Canucks have to do.

        2. Denise Bowen says:

          Well, personally, I didn’t approve or have anything to do with these actions. I am furious every time I am illegally searched by the TSA. AS FAR AS “tortured people” are concerned, water-boarding is child’s play. The few who are making these decisions do NOT represent the majority of Americans! And since you refer to this as “your nation” I assume you are not American so go insult someone else.

          1. Jim says:

            Perhaps you’d like to tell me why Americans hung Japanese soldiers after the second world war for waterboarding American Soldiers? If it’s not torture what was the purpose of it? Why does the US Army field manual forbid it if it’s not torture?

          2. DocHollywood_2 says:

            Its not really a set of rules, they’re more like “guidelines”

          3. dennodog says:

            Er….hung for “waterboarding” ? You need to brush up on your history. Nanking was a little more than waterboarding. So was the mass executions and torture of POW’s and civilians.

          4. Jim says:

            In the charges for war crimes committed waterboarding was included.

          5. dennodog says:

            I doubt that the term “waterboarding” was in the vocabulary at that time. The japanese also used to stick hot pokers up peoples’ asses. For some on this site, that would be called a date. See. Times change, don’t they?

          6. Jim says:

            It was called water torture. And it was exactly the same torture that waterboarding is ,no difference. An attempt by the right wing to sanitize their nasty work.

          7. DocHollywood_2 says:

            Just a tad

          8. Denise Bowen says:

            People are such wusses these days. We are beacons of light in comparison to what happened in China.

          9. Washington22 says:

            Who would even call water boarding torture? It’s like someone stepping on your toe over and over again…….Ridiculous

        3. DocHollywood_2 says:

          The concept of torture is not to gain actionable intelligence, but to scare the general population about the concept of themselves being tortured.

          Its a control exercise.

          1. Jim says:

            Oh I think you’re partly correct. But it’s still a war crime.

          2. DocHollywood_2 says:

            Only if your country is a signature to the Hague Convention. Besides, war crimes have a tendency to be ex post facto in that “crimes against humanity” didn’t exists before 1945 and then only the Germans and Japanese were held to the standard and not Stalin or the KVD.

            After Stalingrad (September 12, 1942,– January 31, 1943, over 90,000 German POWs were taken by the Soviets and only 10% were alive when repatriated in 1955. The rest died from hard labor and there was never an accounting. In contrast, a German POW held in an allied camp had a 90% survival rate. Some stayed and because American citizens.

            Like my colleague who is 87 but fought the Russians in the Battle of Berlin as a Hitler Youth, was captured by American forces, then stayed in the US and became a professor emeritus at a leading university after serving in the US Army.

    3. Myrtle Linder says:

      Christians, in one respect have a great right to be frightened, The government is filled with anti-GOD people determined to change all or our rules which have served America for almost 500 years and gradually grew until she until she was the greatest nation in the world.She reigned as greatest for a few years but for the last about 100 years we have begun to lose our greatness. We, AS A NATION have turned turned our backs on GOD and are worshiping the false god Alla or is it really Mohammad, that is worshiped. In the last five years the bottom has dropped out as we have made anti-GOD laws and the government has tried to force them on the “We The People” Those of us who have a mind of our own WILL NOT BUCKLE, EVEN THOUGH WE WILL BE PERSECUTED. JESUS CHRIST told us in HIS WORD that this day would come. Well, the day has arrived.

      It is you who has the screwed up mind and hate the truth, actually you cannot bear the truth of the matter.

      This is our America:Matthew 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginnig of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be

      1. Josiah Peterson says:

        It is called math, 2014-1776=238 years that is not even half way to 500 please stop exaggerating because it only makes the rest of your statements appear to be falsified and research to prove will never happen.

        1. Denise Bowen says:

          Oh, leave Myrtle alone!

      2. Jim says:

        News for you. God has nothing to do with a nation founded on genocide and slavery. Your whole existence has been violence and oppression. Before you had the means to project your wars you killed each other. I know the propaganda. Now you know the facts.

        1. Denise Bowen says:

          Lighten up, Francis!

      3. DocHollywood_2 says:

        Kind of a one sided justification considering that of the worlds population that professes a religious construct, only 33% are Christian. What shall we do with the other 66% who wont or don’t want to convert to Christianity?

        Hmmm, tried the Crusades and that didn’t work, tried the Inquisition and that failed, tried wholesale slaughter and darn that didn’t work either… what to do, what to do with all of those pesky non-Christains?

        How about just leave them alone to their own beliefs as long as they leave us alone to ours?

        1. Denise Bowen says:

          Yea, but Doc, they AREN’T allowing this. Radical Islamists have declared war on anyone who doesn’t ascribe to their belief system. And it’s not a very nice one either. I mean, come on! Fair’s fair. And the Crusades and Inquisition? Really?

          1. DocHollywood_2 says:


    4. DocHollywood_2 says:

      Who was it that said “just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean people are not really out to get you…?”

      1. Jim says:

        Someone who clearly does not understand Las Vegas odds.

  2. BlueViolets says:

    I notice that the operative word in his statement was “won’t”. Not can’t or maybe or might or could. That indicates to me that it is most likely in the planning and has been for as long time.

  3. francis says:

    Impeachments and High Treason and Murder Gangs

  4. curmudgeon says:

    FEMA Camps, ammo purchases? Makes you think a bit.

  5. Phil Gwinn says:

    The Indian Reservations were the first historically acknowleged concentration camps in the USA that I know of. I could be wrong. If I am wrong, post the link here since I like to learn new things.

    So, yeah, Scalia is dead on right. It doesn’t surprise me in the least when we read about “FEMA” camps.

    1. dchrist81 says:

      Russell Means: Americans Are The New Indian

      “The history of the American and the history of the Indian have now come full circle and are intertwined in the dictatorial policies of those that control the monetary system of America” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3IUnFq3U0Y

  6. Thomas Logan says:


  7. Shirley Nanos says:

    But with the FEMA camps that are up and ready to go, complete with guillotines, the inmates will be American citizens. The free ones will be the illegal Mexicans and Muslims.

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