Korematsu v. US

Korematsu v. US - U.S Supreme Court TOYOSABURO KOREMATSU v...

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U.S. Supreme Court TOYOSABURO KOREMATSU v. UNITED STATES, 323 U.S. 214 (1944) 323 U.S. 214 TOYOSABURO KOREMATSU v. UNITED STATES. No. 22. Argued Oct. 11, 12, 1944. Decided Dec. 18, 1944. Rehearing Denied Feb. 12, 1945 See 324 U.S. 885 , 65 S.Ct. 674. [323 U.S. 214, 215] Mr. Wayne M. Collins, of San Francisco, Cal., and Mr. Charles A. Horsky, of Washington, D.C., for petitioner. Mr. Charles Fahy, Sol. Gen., of Washington, D.C., for respondent. Mr. Justice BLACK delivered the opinion of the Court. The petitioner, an American citizen of Japanese descent, was convicted in a federal district court for remaining in San Leandro, California, a 'Military Area', contrary to Civilian Exclusion Order No. 34 of the Commanding General [323 U.S. 214, 216] of the Western Command, U.S. Army, which directed that after May 9, 1942, all persons of Japanese ancestry should be excluded from that area. No question was raised as to petitioner's loyalty to the United States. The Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, 1 and the importance of the constitutional question involved caused us to grant certiorari. It should be noted, to begin with, that all legal restrictions which curtail the civil rights of a single racial group are immediately suspect. That is not to say that all such restrictions are unconstitutional. It is to say that courts must subject them to the most rigid scrutiny. Pressing public necessity may sometimes justify the existence of such restrictions; racial antagonism never can. In the instant case prosecution of the petitioner was begun by information charging violation of an Act of Congress, of March 21, 1942, 56 Stat. 173, 18 U.S.C.A. 97a, which provides that '... whoever shall enter, remain in, leave, or commit any act in any military area or military zone prescribed, under the authority of an Executive order of the President, by the Secretary of War, or by any military commander designated by the Secretary of War, contrary to the restrictions applicable to any such area or zone or contrary to the order of the Secretary of War or any such military commander, shall, if it appears that he knew or should have known of the existence and extent of the restrictions or order and that his act
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was in violation thereof, be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be liable to a fine of not to exceed $5,000 or to imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, for each offense.' Exclusion Order No. 34, which the petitioner knowingly and admittedly violated was one of a number of military orders and proclamations, all of which were sub- [323 U.S. 214, 217] stantially based upon Executive Order No. 9066, 7 Fed.Reg. 1407. That order, issued after we were at war with Japan, declared that 'the successful prosecution of the war requires every possible protection against espionage and against sabotage to national-defense material, national-defense premises, and national-defense utilities. . ..'
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Korematsu v. US - U.S Supreme Court TOYOSABURO KOREMATSU v...

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