Literature Study GuidesKorematsu V United States

Korematsu v. United States | Study Guide

United States Supreme Court

Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "Korematsu v. United States Study Guide." Course Hero. 5 Nov. 2018. Web. 25 May 2020. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2018, November 5). Korematsu v. United States Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved May 25, 2020, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2018)



Course Hero. "Korematsu v. United States Study Guide." November 5, 2018. Accessed May 25, 2020.


Course Hero, "Korematsu v. United States Study Guide," November 5, 2018, accessed May 25, 2020,



United States Supreme Court

Year Decided



Primary Source


U.S. Supreme Court Case

At a Glance

  • Following the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945) issued Executive Order 9066, the legal basis for the internment within the United States of 120,000 ethnic Japanese. Many of these people were American citizens.
  • Fred Korematsu (1919–2005), an American citizen of Japanese descent, refused to report for transport to an internment camp as required by Citizen Exclusion Order No. 34, a military directive based on Executive Order 9066.
  • Convicted in September 1942 for violating the order, Korematsu accepted the aid of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and sued the U.S. government, alleging the order violated his constitutional rights.
  • In 1944 the Supreme Court affirmed the orders resulted from "pressing public necessity" and did not violate the Constitution.
  • Dissenting justices called the decision racist and warned of the "subtle blow to liberty" resulting from judicial concession to an unconstitutional military order.
  • Although the decision was not unpopular in the 1940s, the credibility of the argument decreased with time. In 1976 President Gerald Ford formally apologized for the policy, and in 1988 Congress approved a $20,000 payment for each surviving person who had been interned. In Trump v. Hawaii (2018), the court finally rejected the Korematsu decision.
  • The case provides insight into potential conflicts between national security and civil liberties and into the scrutiny with which the court must oversee such conflicts.


This study guide for United States Supreme Court's Korematsu v. United States offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

Buy this book from
Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about Korematsu v. United States? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!

Stuck? We have tutors online 24/7 who can help you get unstuck.
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors You can ask You can ask You can ask (will expire )
Answers in as fast as 15 minutes
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors