The U.S. Court of Appeals is denying citizenship to the people of American Samoa. They used racist case law, that don’t have a place in today’s society, in order to reach their decision.

“Known as the Insular Cases, the Supreme Court in the early years of the 20th century created a distinction between the rights of newly acquired island territories such as American Samoa and Puerto Rico and territories such as Arizona that they assumed would one day become states—and which were increasingly populated by white people.”

Although the American Samoans are currently being denied their birthright, this doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. An appeal in the future, to a more liberal D.C. circuit, may better their chances.