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When Governments Break the LawThe Rule of Law and the Prosecution of the Bush Administration$
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Austin Sarat and Nasser Hussain

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780814741399

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814741399.001.0001

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Justice Jackson, the Memory of Internment, and the Rule of Law after the Bush Administration

Justice Jackson, the Memory of Internment, and the Rule of Law after the Bush Administration

Chapter:
(p.183) 6 Justice Jackson, the Memory of Internment, and the Rule of Law after the Bush Administration
Source:
When Governments Break the Law
Author(s):

Stephen I. Vladeck

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814741399.003.0007

This chapter examines the question of criminal prosecution involving the Bush administration by focusing on a previous instance of the U.S. government's abuse of its power: the exclusion from the West Coast and internment of more than 120,000 Japanese nationals and Japanese Americans during World War II, and a trio of Supreme Court rulings culminating in Korematsu v. United States that gave implicit but unequivocal legal sanction to those measures. It also considers Justice Robert H. Jackson's arguments in Korematsu and how the Supreme Court's legal rationalization in the case might inform contemporary debates over whether senior Bush administration officials should be investigated and/or prosecuted for their role in the torture of detainees held as part of the “war on terrorism.” It argues that abuses committed by the U.S. government can be successfully documented—and their justifications categorically debunked—without individual accountability.

Keywords:   criminal prosecution, Bush administration, internment, World War II, Supreme Court, Korematsu v. United States, Robert H. Jackson, torture, accountability, Japanese Americans

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