Here is the piece from Jon Stewart's show referenced by the court.
On August 26, 2015 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has cited to John Oliver's "Last Week Tonight" on page 6 of its decision, bottom of footnote 2, as a support for the court's ultimate decision to declare that Guam violated taxpayers' constitutional rights by refusing to provide to them tax refunds based on the long-criticized claim that citizens of the U.S. territories are not entitled to the same constitutional protections as citizens of U.S. states.
The 9th Circuit went against the U.S. Supreme court precedent providing that the newly acquired territories were populated by "alien races" that do not understand that "principles of the Anglo-Saxon laws" and, therefore, the U.S. Constitution, the Constitution of the country that acquired the territories, does not have to apply to those territories.
Here is the list of cases, all of them decided 114 years ago, that the 9th Circuit rejected.
- De Lima v Bidwell, 182 U.S. 1 (1901)
- Goetze v. United States, 182 U.S. 221 (1901)
- Dooley v. United States, 182 U.S. 222 (1901)
- Armstrong v. United States, 182 U.S. 243 (1901)
- Downes v. Bidwell, 182 U.S. 244 (1901)
- Huus v. New York and Porto Rico Steamship Co., 182 U.S. 392 (1901)
Here is the piece by John Oliver's show that was referenced by the court.
And here is a decision of another Circuit court, of June 6, 2015, that upheld the 1901 theories of the U.S. Supreme Court about "insular cases - alien races".
Here is the names of justices that were serving on the U.S. Supreme Court at the time of the 1901 "insular cases - alien races" decisions:
- Melville Fuller - a white dynastic judge, he was 68 at the time of the decisions;
- David Josiah Brewer - a white son of a religious minister, classmate of Supreme Court Justice Henry Billings Brown, was 63 at the time of the decisions;
- Henry Billings Brown - classmate of U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Josiah Brewer, joined the court one year after Justice Brewer, was 65 at the time of the decisions, is "famous" as being on the majority opinion in Plessy v Ferguson that upheld racial segregation in public facilities;
- Goerge Shiras, Jr. - son of a wealthy white brewer, another member of the majority in Plessy v Ferguson, 69 y.o. at the time of the "insular cases - alien races" decision;
- Howell Edmunds Jackson - son of a doctor and a daughter of a Baptist minister, white, his father was elected into the Legislature of the State of Tennessee, was later a mayor of Jackson, Tennessee, was 69 at the time of the 1901 decisions;
- Edward Douglas White - son of the former governor of the State of Louisiana, grandson of a doctor & U.S. Representative & a judge, upheld racial segregation in public facilities in Plessy, 56 y.o. in 1901;
- Rufus Wheeler Peckham - his father was a lawyer, then judge, then a Congressman; was 63 y.o. at the time of the 1901 decisions;
- Joseph McKenna - son of Irish immigrants, was 58 y.o. at the time of the 1901 decisions.
So, the decisions of a bunch of racists from the turn of 20th century, who were predominantly "sons of the American nobility", rich privileged elderly uppity white males, continue to deprive people of their constitutional rights 115 years down the road, out of their graves.
If you think that the 9th Circuit case was some kind of a cave relic, think again. At the same time as the Guam case was litigated, this year of 2015, the Obama administration was fighting the lawsuit of residents of the American Samoa that denies babies born there American citizenship on the same "insular cases - alien races" theory.
And in the D.C. Circuit case, the court has actually upheld the "insular cases - alien races" theory against people who are born in the American territory owned by the United States, but denying people living their American citizenship or protection of the U.S. Constitution.
At least one out of two appellate court agreed that racism is umconstotutional, and John Oliver clearly helped clear the court's perspective. The other, a D.C. Circuit court no less, is still playing games around the issue.
Judging by the "deterrent effect" of comedians as to at least some courts, seeing that courts are guarding themselves against being made into the laughing stock of the entire world, there is hope that the reform of the corrupt American system is possible. Through comedians. More power to and more work for John Oliver.
And - let's run more comedy shows on idiotic court theories, because John Oliver will not be able to address the "pearls of wisdom" of American courts in several lifetimes.