April 17

The National Security State and the Constitutional Order

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A futile Japanese-American protest in San Francisco, 1942


Hi everyone: welcome back from spring break. A pretty light assignment for tonight's class, where the topic is the national security state and the Constitution. Please start by reading this summary of the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, and the subsequent failure of the Supreme Court to overturn the action. This all set the stage for the Court's response to the Cold War, where the focus for tonight will be the Dennis case, in which the United States government sought to outlaw the Communist Party. Were either of these actions justified? If not, where should the government draw the line on national security matters?

NOTE: There is no caucus assignment for tonight's class, so as to ensure that everyone has the time to complete their two required posts for last week's virtual session. There is a hint in this message.