Fred Korematsu v United States

Fred Korematsu v United States

Fred Korematsu v United States

Fred Korematsu v United States
Fred Korematsu in the 1940s

Executive Order No. 2537

On January 14, 1942,  President Roosevelt had issued order No. 2537, requiring Italian, German, and Japanese aliens to register with the Department of Justice. (NYT article) and on February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt issued  Order 9066, which cleared the way for the relocation of Japanese Americans to internment camps.

Fred Korematsu v United States

Three categories

The government created three categories of Japanese internees: Nisei (native U.S. citizens of Japanese immigrant parents), Issei (Japanese immigrants), and Kibei (native U.S. citizens educated largely in Japan).Fred Korematsu v United States

By June, the government had relocated more than 110,000 Japanese Americans to camps scattered around the country. During the war the government convicted 10 Americans of spying for Japan, None were of Japanese ancestry.

Fred Korematsu v United States

Korematsu Arrested

Japanese American Fred Korematsu, 23, refused to go to the the incarceration camp. He was arrested and convicted of defying the government’s order. He appealed.

On December 18, 1944, the US Supreme court, in Korematsu vs United States, sided with the government ruling that the exclusion order was constitutional.

Fred Korematsu v United States

Aftermath

With today’s often bitter discussions about who is American and who we should allow in the United States, it might be interesting to look at the aftermath of Korematsu vs the United States.

32 years after Korematsu vs United States, on February 19, 1976, President Gerald Ford signed “An American Promise,” which formally rescinded 1942’s Executive Order 9066 but contained no apology.

Fred Korematsu v United States

Commission on Wartime Relocation…

36 years after Korematsu vs United States, on  July 31, 1980, President Carter signed the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians Act, which created a group to study Executive Order 9066. In 1983, the Commission  concluded that the exclusion, expulsion, and incarceration of Japanese-Americans were not justified by military necessity and the decisions to do so were based on race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.

39 years afterwards, on November 10, 1983, the San Francisco Federal District Court reversed Korematsu’s 1942 conviction and ruled that the internment was not justified.  (Court Overturns… (Korematsu)

44 years afterwards, on August 10, 1988 President Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. It provided for a Presidential apology and appropriated $1.25 billion for reparations of $20,000 to most internees, evacuees, and others of Japanese ancestry who lost liberty or property,

46 years after Korematsu vs United States,  October 9, 1990, the  Japanese internment redress payment was issued at a Washington, D.C. ceremony to the Reverend Mamoru Eto, 107 years old. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh knelt as he made the presentation

Fred Korematsu v United States

Presidential Medal of Freedom

On January 15, 1998, President Clinton awarded Fred Korematsu the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Fred Korematsu v United States

55 years after Korematsu vs United States, on October 22, 1999,  groundbreaking on construction of a national memorial to both Japanese-American soldiers and those sent to internment camps takes place in Washington, D.C.Fred Korematsu v United States

On March 30, 2005, Fred Korematu died. (NYT articleFred Korematsu v United States

Fred Korematsu v United States

Tule Lake Segregation Center

Fred Korematsu v United States
Tulle Lake Center

62 years after Korematsu vs United States, on February 17, 2006, the government designated Tule Lake Segregation Center a National Historic Landmark.

Fred Korematsu v United States

Don Miyada

Fred Korematsu v United States
Don Miyada with high school diploma

70 years afterward, on June 19, 2014, Don Miyada, 89, joined Newport (CA) Harbor High School’s 2014 graduating class on stage and received a standing ovation. He became an inaugural member of the school’s hall of fame. Miyada had missed his 1942 graduation because he was locked in an internment camp.

Fred Korematsu v United States

June 22, 2018: he Supreme Court upheld the latest version of President Donald Trump’s travel ban, but as it did so, the Court also took the opportunity to expressly reject Korematsu v. United States 

The Court wrote, in an opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts:

Finally, the dissent invokes Korematsu v. United States, 323 U. S. 214 (1944). Whatever rhetorical advantage the dissent may see in doing so, Korematsu has nothing to do with this case. The forcible relocation of U. S. citizens to concentration camps, solely and explicitly on the basis of race, is objectively unlawful and outside the scope of Presidential authority. [Vox report]

Fred Korematsu v United States
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