Today in Supreme Court History

Today in Supreme Court History: August 11, 1942

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

8/11/1942: General John DeWitt, Commander of Western Defense Command, issues exclusion order. The Supreme Court held this order was constitutional in Korematsu v. United States.


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  1. 75 years later, it would be interesting for a scholar, fluent in Japanese, to go through the Japanese archives and find out how much spying they were or weren’t doing.

    When the Soviet Union imploded in the 1990s and the 1995 release of the Verona papers, we learned that folk like Alger Hiss really were guilty. And this would appear in a different light if there actually had been a significant Japanese spy network in California.

    1. Nobody doubts there was some Japanese espionage.

      But just as the (real) Soviet espionage did not justify insanely punitive measures that deprived leftists of their livelihoods, this didn’t justify throwing all Japanese and Japanese Americans in the Western US into prisons.

      Indeed, there were also German-Americans and Italian-Americans who were involved in espionage. And those were handled case by case, not by mass imprisonment.

      1. To Ed, “Orientals” are “inscrutable”. Are they squinting or what?

        1. Mocking bigots is always great (and useful) sport!

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