The U.S. Supreme Court Finally Shows Some Good Sense

The front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC. Completed in 1935, the US Supreme Court building in Washington, DC, is the first to have been built specifically for the purpose, inspiring Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes to remark, ÒThe Republic endures and this is the symbol of its faith.Ó The Court was established in 1789 and initially met in New York City. When the national capital moved to Philadelphia, the Court moved with it, before moving to the permanent capital of Washington, DC, in 1800. Congress lent the Court space in the new Capitol building, and it was to change its meeting place several more times over the next century, even convening for a short period in a private house after the British set fire to the Capitol during the War of 1812. The classical Corinthian architectural style was chosen to harmonize with nearby congressional buildings, and the scale of the massive marble building reflects the significance and dignity of the judiciary as a co-equal, independent branch of government. The main entrance is on the west side, facing the Capitol. On either side of the main steps are figures sculpted by James Earle Fraser. On the left is the female Contemplation of Justice. On the right is the male Guardian or Authority of Law. On the architrave above the pediment is the motto ÒEqual Justice under Law.Ó Capping the entrance is a group representing Liberty Enthroned, guarded by Order and Authority, sculpted by Robert Aitken. At the east entrance are marble figures sculpted by Hermon A. MacNeil. They represent great law givers Moses, Confucius, and Solon, flanked by Means of Enforcing the Law, Tempering Justice with Mercy, Settlement of Disputes between States, and Maritime and other functions of the Supreme Court. The architrave carries the motto ÒJustice the Guardian of Liberty.Ó The interior of the building is equally filled with symbolic ornamentation. The main corridor is known as the Great Hall and contains double rows of marble columns

WASHINGTON: A US woman who filed suit after her Afghan husband was denied a US entry visa because of terror suspicions lost an appeal Monday before the Supreme Court.

The Afghan-born woman had argued that her constitutional rights were being violated because she was being prevented from living in the United States with her spouse.

But the court disagreed, by a vote of 5-4 that reflected its division between conservatives and liberals.

It agreed with the administration, which bars appeals against visa denials made on grounds of “terrorist activities.” The court heard arguments in this case on February 23.

Fauzia Din had filed suit when her husband Kanishka Berashk’s visa request was turned down in 2009.

He had worked for the government in Afghanistan when it was still controlled by the Taliban. That ended in December 2001 with the US-invasion that ousted the Taliban for granting safe haven to al Qaeda.

The court said Din’s claim that she was deprived of liberty by not being able to live with her spouse in America was “absurd.”

It said she is not being imprisoned, nor held in a private home against her will, and that neither she nor her husband were being denied liberty as guaranteed under the constitution.

“Under a historical understanding of the due process clause, Din cannot possibly claim that the denial of Berashk’s visa application deprived her of life, liberty or property,” the sentence reads.

The due process clause bars the government from unfairly denying people their basic constitutional rights to those three things: life, liberty and property.

Din was not denied the right to marry, and the right to wed “cannot be expanded to include the right that Din argues for — the right to live in the United States with one’s alien spouse,” Judge Antonin Scalia said in presenting the majority opinion.

He said the court supports limits on immigration and “serious constraints on the ability of immigrants to bring their relatives into this country with them.”

The four dissenting, progressive judges backed an opinion written by Judge Stephen Breyer who said US law “surrounds marriage with a host of legal protections to the point that it creates a strong expectation that government will not deprive married individuals of their freedom to live together.”

  • pettifog

    The headline says that the court “finally shows some good sense”. On a 5-4 vote, it barely showed that sense, but you have to wonder what the “liberals” on the bench think…hmm, “let’s give this former Talib government worker the right to appeal, after all, I have 24-7 security, I won’t be in any danger”.

    • Drunk_by_Noon

      It’s a Supreme Court decision and is therefor not appealable, but it also held up the “not appealable” status of immigration bars for reasons of suspected terrorism.
      That last one is the most important part.

      • just a thought

        You aren’t saying this could have negative consequences, like being misapplied by an unprincipled administration, are you?

    • G

      Supreme court decisions in the U.S. & Canada are basically always predictable.
      On the rare, (vvveeerrry rare) occasions when the courts rule in a manner that pleases conservatives, it’s always a thin victory. Basically the courts are saying (Psst! Ask us again later when you have a more airtight case. THEN we’ll rule in your favor).
      The only reason the conservatives won this one was that old lefty scrag Ginsburg was probably so lost in senility that she didn’t know what she was voting for.

  • Raymond Cameron

    If she wants to live with him she is free to do it in Afghanistan.