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Korematsu (1983) - Korematsu v U.S 584 F.Supp 1406 16 Fed R...

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Korematsu v. U.S., 584 F.Supp. 1406, 16 Fed. R. Evid. Serv. 1231 (N.D.Cal. Apr 19, 1984) William T. McGivern, Asst. U.S. Atty., San Francisco, Cal., Victor Stone, Counsel for Special & Appellate Matters, General Litigation & Legal Advice Section, U.S. Dept. of Justice, Washington, D.C., for defendant. Dale Minami, Minami & Lew, San Francisco, Cal., Peter Irons, Leucadia, Cal., Robert L. Rusky, Hanson, Bridgett, Marcus, Vlahos & Stromberg, Ed Chen, Coblentz, Cahen, McCabe & Breyer, Eric Yamamoto, San Francisco, Cal., for plaintiff. OPINION PATEL, District Judge. Fred Korematsu is a native born citizen of the United States. He is of Japanese ancestry. On September 8, 1942 he was convicted in this court of being in a place from which all persons of Japanese ancestry were excluded pursuant to Civilian Exclusion Order No. 34 issued by Commanding General J.L. DeWitt. His conviction was affirmed. Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214, 65 S.Ct. 193, 89 L.Ed. 194 (1944). Mr. Korematsu now brings this petition for a writ of coram nobis to vacate his conviction on the grounds of governmental misconduct. His allegations of misconduct are best understood against the background of events leading up to his conviction. On December 8, 1941 the United States declared war on Japan. Executive Order No. 9066 was issued on February 19, 1942 authorizing the Secretary of War and certain military commanders "to prescribe military areas from which any persons may be excluded as protection against espionage and sabotage." Congress enacted § 97a of Title 18 of the United States Code, enforcing the exclusions promulgated under the Executive Order. Section 97a made it a misdemeanor for anyone to enter or remain in any restricted military zone contrary to the order of a military commander. In the meantime, General DeWitt was designated Military Commander of the Western Defense Command which consisted of several western states including California. On March 2, 1942 General DeWitt issued Public Proclamation No. 1 pursuant to Executive Order 9066. The proclamation stated that "the entire Pacific Coast ... is subject to espionage and acts of sabotage, thereby requiring the adoption of military measures necessary to establish safeguards against such enemy operations." Thereafter, several other proclamations based upon the same justification were issued placing restrictions and requirements upon certain persons, including all persons of Japanese ancestry.
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As a result of these proclamations and Exclusion Order No. 34, providing that all persons of Japanese ancestry be excluded from an area specified as Military Area No. 1, petitioner, who lived in Area No. 1, could not leave the zone in which he resided and could not remain in the zone unless he were in an established "Assembly Center." Petitioner remained in the zone and did not go to the Center. He was charged and convicted of knowingly remaining in a proscribed area in violation of § 97a.
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