National Security CAPPS Individual Civil Liberties in Times of Crisis


This note attempts to objectively compare and contrast instances of past national emergencies with the ongoing “war on terror;” from the Supreme Court’s World War II decision of Korematsu, through the Warren Court and the Communist threat, then ending with the Rehnquist Court’s recent decisions of Hamdi, Rasul, and Padilla. In addition, the Computer Assisted Passenger Pre-screening System [CAPPS II] is used as an illustration of a current erosion of individual rights as a result of the “war on terror.” Finally, the note concludes by suggesting that when the war-making branches, based on a perceived threat to national security, infringe on constitutionally protected rights, the Supreme Court must be judicially active to counterbalance the depravation.


Civil Rights and Discrimination | Constitutional Law

Date of this Version

September 2004