Korematsu v. US: The Injustice of the WWII Japanese Internment

The Northern District (CA) Historical Society will be having a special program:

Monday, September 21, 2015 from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM (PDT)
Location: Ceremonial Courtroom Federal Building, 19th Floor 450 Golden Gate Avenue,  San Francisco, CA

residents of japanese ancestry waiting Oak Street ca
May 6, 1942 / Residents of Japanese ancestry waiting on Oak Street, Oakland CA for evacuation buses to take them to the Tanforan Assembly Center in San Bruno, under Civilian Exclusion Order No. 28. Photo by Dorothea Lange, War Relocation Authority, National Archives.

After the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941, rumors spread of a plot by Japanese Americans to sabotage the war effort. In early 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, forcing all persons of Japanese ancestry—regardless of loyalty or citizenship—to evacuate the West Coast. In one of the most flagrant violations of civil liberties in American history, more than 120,000 Japanese Americans were banished to “internment camps” in seven states. Before departure, many were forced to abandon their property or sell it at a severe loss.

In December 1944, the Supreme Court, in Fred Korematsu v. United States, upheld the legality of the relocation order, although Korematsu’s conviction for evading internment was voided in 1983 on a coram nobis petition heard in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Some of the major players from the 1983 case form the panel for this program: the professor who uncovered government documents that led to the reopening of Mr. Korematsu’s case; the lead counsel for Mr. Korematsu; the judge who heard and ruled on the writ of coram nobis; and Mr. Korematsu’s daughter, who co‑founded a civil rights institute in her father’s memory.

Tickets will not be available at the door. For more information, contact the Historical Society Administrator HistoricalSociety@cand.uscourts.gov or (415) 522-4246.

To RSVP and for ticket purchase, click here. (Eventbrite registration.)

• Free to the general public
• $15 for Historical Society members seeking MCLE credit
• $40 for non-members seeking MCLE credit

May 6, 1942, Oakland, CA/ Part of the Fujikawa family leave the WCCA station at 1117 Oak Street. A social worker directs Sam Fujikawa, his sister and niece to a waiting bus which will take them to the Tanforan (racetrack) Assembly Center in San Bruno. Photo by Dorothea Lange, War Relocation Authority, National ArchivesThe building was later renovated and now houses the Alameda County Law Library.

Text of documents related to the cases:

Toyosaburo Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214, 65 S.Ct. 193, 89 L.Ed. 194  (1944).
Korematsu v. United States, 584 F.Supp. 1406,  (N.D. Cal. 1984).   Korematsu v US
Notice for Civilian Exclusion Order No. 28. April 30, 1942. Unknown artist. Poster. Collection of Oakland Museum of California. Gift of Henry Madden.

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