Law's Enemies: Enemy Concepts in U.S. Supreme Court Decisions
Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, Vol. 40, 2007
37 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2009 Last revised: 12 May 2009
Date Written: 2007
In a series of mid-20th century cases, the U.S. Supreme Court has modified and diversified the status of the enemy in U.S. law. We see a shift away from the statist egalitarian model toward a transnationalized model of enemies. U.S. Supreme Court decisions in three clusters of cases (German enemy aliens, the internment of the West Coast Japanese Americans, and Communist) from the 1940s and 1950s prefigure the radicalized post-9/11 "enemy combatant" status. The choice for such enemy conceptions is both a result of and a contribution to the changes in contemporary practices of violence.
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