Supreme Court Justice Doubts Mass Internment Would Happen Again in US

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer was interviewed on "This Week."

Breyer refused to comment on Trump's proposed ban on Muslim immigration to the U.S., calling the issue “highly political.”

“I think every person in the United States has a right to an opinion on that, which he can express publicly,” a smiling Breyer told ABC’s Jonathan Karl, “except for me.” “And if I have an opinion,” he concluded, “I might talk to my wife about it, but I'm not going to talk to you.”

“I think everyone I've ever run into thinks that case was wrongly decided,” Breyer told Karl. But legal analysis is not what brings the justice to the conclusion that America would not repeat its mistakes of the past. In fact, the case approving Japanese internment has never been overturned because a similar situation has never arisen to be challenged. Breyer argues internment would not be repeated because “this country has developed stronger traditions of civil liberties.”

Still, the justice had one important concession for those nervous about introducing vague notions of international values into strict American legal interpretation: “To know what's going on is not necessarily to accept the view of one foreign court, or not accept the view of one foreign court,” Breyer said. What is crucial for justice, Breyer contends, is “a more informed attitude.”