IN THE NEWS: Remembering a Constitutional Hero

Fred Korematsu challenged the constitutionality of Executive Order 9066 that led to the incarceration during World War II of over 120,000 Japanese Americans, two-thirds of them US citizens. His appeal became the test case that reached the US Supreme Court which ruled against him in 1944. Korematsu’s conviction was overturned in 1983. President Bill Clinton awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998.

[NBC News] Virginia to Celebrate Korematsu Day for First Time: “Virginia will commemorate its first statewide Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution this year, becoming the sixth state to officially commemorate Jan. 30 this way as civil rights advocates continue to push for a national holiday.”

Screenshot 2016-01-31 13.01.41

[Video Trailer for “Of Civil Wrongs and Rights” documentary by the Korematsu Institute]:

[PBS POV] Of Civil Wrongs And Rights: The Fred Korematsu Story

Learn more:

[Korematsu Institute] About Fred Korematsu Day: “Six states – California, Hawai’i, Utah, Illinois, Georgia, Virginia – have recognized Korematsu Day by statute, legislative resolution, or proclamation by the governor. Two other states – Michigan and Pennsylvania – have legislatures that have or are considering legislative recognitions.”
Read more:

[US Commission on Civil Rights] Request for federal recognition of January 30th as a national holiday to recognize National Fred Korematsu Day: “Recognizing this day would be a fitting tribute to Fred T. Korematsu’s courage to stand up for
civil rights and liberties by challenging President Franklin Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 which authorized the removal of Japanese Americans from their homes and placement into internment camps during World War II.”
Read more:

[Densho Encyclopedia] Korematsu v. United States: “Judge Patel ruled from the bench and overturned Korematsu’s conviction. In her written ruling, she underscored the significance of the Korematsu case: “It stands as a caution that in times of distress the shield of military necessity and national security must not be used to protect governmental actions from close scrutiny and accountability.”
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[Densho Blog] The Enduring Legacy of Fred Korematsu: “Challenger of World War II exclusion and confinement, Fred Toyosaburo Korematsu (1919-2005) dedicated his life to the civil rights crusade that would eventually earn him a Presidential Medal of Freedom. He is best known for his fight against the mass removal of Japanese Americans that resulted in a landmark Supreme Court case. But until his death in 2005, he also advocated for the civil liberties of other marginalized groups, including prisoners detained at Guantanamo Bay after 9/11.”
Read more:

Photo: screenshot from trailer for “Of Civil Wrongs and Rights” documentary by the Korematsu Institute:


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