New York’s Governor Cuomo Compares SCOTUS’s 5-4 Upholding Trump Muslim Ban to Dredd Scott Ruling


Donald Trump. Hate wins another round. Photo: Gage Skidmore–Flickr.

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling today upholding President Trump’s racist Muslim ban as constitutional has been widely condemned in deservedly harsh terms by elected officials and human rights organizations and activists, with Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York comparing it to the Dredd Scott ruling.

In that 1857 decision the Supreme Court under chief justice Roger Taney infamously ruled that the “negro” had no rights which a White man was obligated to respect.

The Trump ban bars individuals from selected Muslim-majority countries from traveling to the U.S.

“The Trump travel ban is a gross violation of our American values, and the Supreme Court’s ruling along partisan lines does nothing to change that,” Cuomo said. “This shameful and bigoted policy “Thisshamefuland bigoted is nothing but a thinly veiled attempt to govern by hate and division and continue the federal government’s assault on immigrants. By upholding a policy rooted in Islamophobia, this ruling encourages and contributes to a culture of profiling and religious discrimination.”

Cuomo added: “Just because the Supreme Court says it is legal does not mean it is right. This ruling is a deviation from our constitutional principles and joins the sad legacy of decisions that have been an affront to the core values that define our democracy including Dred Scott v. Sandford, Korematsu v. United States, Bowers v. Hardwick, and Boutilier v. INS. In New York, we believe our diversity is our greatest strength and we remember that unless we are Native American, we all came from someplace else. We will continue to strive to uphold the values embodied by the Lady in our Harbor and welcome all immigrants who seek to become a part of the New York family.”

“We are horrified by the Supreme Court’s ruling today, which allows for a central component of Trump’s xenophobic and white supremacist agenda to continue,” said Javier H. Valdés, Co-Executive Director of Make the Road New York, a progressive organization with 22,000 members. “This ban only seeks to fuel hate and keep families apart. But our fight is not over, as we know this is just one battle in the broader struggle against Islamophobia, racism, and xenophobia. We will continue to stand and resist with our Muslim brothers and sisters and with all immigrant communities. We say today, tomorrow, and forever: No Muslim Ban ever.”

Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-New York) said: “Today’s ruling will be remembered as a shameful moment in our nation’s history. It is abundantly clear to any neutral observer that the origin of this ban – no matter how many times Donald Trump’s Administration reconfigured it – is rooted in hatred and animus toward Muslim communities. Such a policy is an affront to our nation’s values of inclusiveness and religious diversity. Velázquez added: “As today’s ruling fails to live up to our nation’s ideals, the rest of us must speak up and step forward. I will continue fighting in the halls of Congress and through all available means to see this immoral policy reversed.”

“Today’s Supreme Court decision marks another outrageous step backwards for religious and racial justice around the world,” Rev. Al Sharpton, president and founder of National Action Network said: “The Supreme Court’s decision to the anti-Muslim bias clearly apparent in this policy is unfathomable – the ban is rooted in islamophobia and has been phonily sold to the American public for the sake of ‘security.’ Trump has made it clear time and time again he wants a migration ban on individuals from all Muslim countries. We at NAN have no patience for the ongoing efforts by this administration to undermine religious freedom, a basic building block of our nation. We will push back at every step and every available juncture on any whiff of intolerance and prejudice.”

“The latest version of the ban limits entry to the United States from citizens of five Muslim-majority countries in addition to a miniscule number of North Koreans and Venezuelans. Let’s be clear: This is a loss. But this isn’t the end of the fight – we’re committed to taking down this discriminatory ban on every front – in Congress, in the courts, and on the streets,” said Omar Jadwat, the Director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project.

He added: “This isn’t the first time the Supreme Court has gotten it wrong. In 1944, the Supreme Court ruled in Korematsu v. United States to allow the government to rip Japanese people out of their homes and imprison them based on false claims of national security. It’s one of the most shameful chapters of U.S. history – and now the Muslim ban decision joins it. History will judge today’s decision harshly. But I have hope. It’s ultimately the people of this country who’ll determine its character and future. In the first 24 hours of the Muslim ban, two of the defining themes of the Trump presidency emerged: Trump’s determination to stamp anti-Muslim bigotry into national policy, and the key role of the courts and the public in stopping him. Today, the court failed. Now the public is needed more than ever.”

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer said: “The Supreme Court failed in its duty today. This decision will go down in history along with cases like Korematsu v. U.S. and Hirabayashi v. U.S. as a shameful legal stamp of approval for a policy rooted in discrimination and xenophobia.

“In the long run this policy is diametrically opposed to American values and cannot last. Those of us who stand for equal rights under the law and against hate, fear, and division are going to win. I will continue standing with Muslims, immigrants and everyone else targeted by this White House until we do.”

Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said: “The Supreme Court endorsed a regression of freedom and liberty today, by permitting a Muslim ban that reflects one of the most xenophobic, nativist chapters in our nation’s history. Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric and the Supreme Court’s decision conflict with a simple, yet important truth: Indiscriminate profiling based on nationality or religion does not make our nation stronger or more prosperous – it makes us weaker. It fuels the flames of hate and bias.within our country and undermines our core value of religious freedom and liberty. The American people must demand Congress hold this administration accountable, by acting as a check on the executive branch’s hostile and discriminatory actions against religious freedom.”

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