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Korematsu v. U.S. and its modern-day relevance

  • King Kamehameha V. Judiciary History Center 417 South King Street Honolulu, HI, 96813 United States

The William S. Richardson School of Law will host two free public events on February 23 and 24 looking at national security and democratic liberties today juxtaposed with World War II racial discrimination and the incarceration of Americans of Japanese ancestry after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

  • February 23, 11:45 a.m.–1:15 p.m. at the UH law school
    The coram nobis team attorneys Dale Minami, Lori Bannai and Yamamoto will be joined by Karen Korematsu (Fred Korematsu’s daughter) and Richardson Scholar Advocate law students Anna Jang and Jaime Tokioka.
     
  • February 24, 5:30–7 p.m. at the King Kamehameha V. Judiciary History Center
    The attorneys, joined by team member Leigh-Ann Miyasato and Karen Korematsu, will be part of a roundtable question and answer discussion and a reception.

These events highlight the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which authorized the incarceration of 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast including more than 1,300 from Hawaiʻi.

The programs will explore the significance of the Korematsu v U.S. decision and its important relevance today. The events—entitled National Security and Democratic Liberties: The Continuing Significance of Korematsu v U.S.—will showcase some of the attorneys, including William S. Richardson School Professor Eric Yamamoto, who in 1980 reopened the Supreme Court’s 1944 Korematsu case with new evidence of fraudulent government testimony.

They won a coram nobis Federal District Court judgment that there had been no national security justification for the mass incarceration.Coram nobis is a rare legal remedy for setting aside an erroneous judgment in a civil or criminal action because of an error in fact.

Professor Yamamoto is the Fred T. Korematsu Professor of Law and Social Justice at the UH School of Law.