Book Review: The Alien and the Asiatic in American Law, 56 Yale Law Journal 910 (1947)
This treatise on the two chief outcasts of our constitutional system, the
alien and the Asiatic, is a timely probing of the depth of our American democracy.
Its list of legal atrocities constitutionally committed upon Americans or
would-be Americans who did not have the foresight to be born in the proper
places has all the macabre fascination of old ethnology books which recount
the horrors found by missionaries among benighted peoples lacking properly
supported agencies of civilization and true religion.
Today, more than ever, such a study has meaning even for native-born
Americans of whitest ancestry. For none of us can be sure of rights which
are denied to the meanest member of society. And since the Supreme Court
in Korematsu v. United States' has held that American citizens of a feared or
hated stock may be taken from their homes and put behind barbed wire without
notice of charges, indictment, jury trial, or other opportunity to be heard
in self-defense, all of our civil rights are subject to forfeiture if nations or
races from which any of us are descended become feared or hated.
Date of Authorship for this Version
immigration, citizenship, discrimination
Cohen, Felix S., "Book Review: The Alien and the Asiatic in American Law" (1947). Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 4367.