Unchecked Authority



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The Politics Department thesis “Unchecked Authority: How the Supreme Court Expanded the President’s Foreign Powers in Trump v. Hawaii” argues that the Supreme Court rejected settled jurisprudence to fulfill the partisan aim of expanding presidential authority over immigration and national security. Chief Justice Roberts’ majority opinion did not adhere to conservative or traditional methods of statutory interpretation, but created his own method to reach the outcome he and his conservative colleagues desired. This ruling grants seemingly unlimited deference to the President in matters of national security, thereby threatening constitutionally recognized civil liberties. Furthermore, the holding reinforces the logic of repudiated decisions such as The Chinese Exclusion Cases and Korematsu v. United States, which upheld President Roosevelt’s internment policy. This case resulted from President Trump’s third Travel ban—the realization of his campaign promise to ban Muslims from entering the United States and tacitly endorsed of the xenophobia and Islamophobia of the Administration. Furthermore, Hawaii is added to a pattern: the Roberts Court is upholding the Republican Agenda regardless of precedent, and is undermining the legitimacy of the Supreme Court.



Supreme Court, Trump v. Hawaii, Presidential power, immigration, national security, American politics