Nevada Law Journal Forum

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2017


In this Essay, I want to make the argument that the validity of the Chinese Exclusion Case is the central question in the challenges to President Trump’s travel bans. The facts are closely analogous. Moreover, the Chinese Exclusion Case is the seminal, canonical decision establishing vast federal power over immigration control. Resolving the present challenges to the Trump Executive Orders requires us to determine, once and for all, if that 1889 decision was rightly decided. But if that case cannot survive given what we know of constitutional law in the twenty first century, we must be precise about what exactly the Court got wrong 128 years ago.

Publication Citation

1 Nev. L.J. Forum 80 (2017).