The Japanese Americans And The Issue Of — страница 2

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Most of the Japanese Americans obeyed the military orders as a way of demonstrating their loyalty to the United States, but there were some individuals who challenged the constitutionality of the evacuation and internment orders. Fred Korematsu was charged with refusing evacuation, Minoru Yasui with violating curfew, and Gordon Hirabayashi with violating curfew and failing to report for detention. All three were convicted in the federal courts for disobeying military orders and appealed their cases to the U. S. Supreme Court. These three cases are considered to be criminal cases because they were direct violations of law. A fourth case by Mitsuye Endo was filed against the United States in 1942. As that she broke no laws and complied with the military orders, her case was

considered a civil suit. She challenged the government s right to imprison an American citizen without charge or trial. A year later the decision denying her release was announced, and she appealed to the Supreme Court. In landmark decisions in the cases of Hirabayashi v. United States, Yasui v. United States, and Korematsu v. United States, the Supreme Court upheld the Executive Order 9066 and the army s evacuation procedure stating that a group defined entirely by ancestry could constitutionally be placed under curfew and expelled from their homes, because Congress had declared war and the military had decided that it was impossible to separate the loyal from the disloyal . In late 1944, in the case of Ex Parte Endo, the court unconditionally released Endo from detainment,

ruling unanimously that the War Relocation Authority (WRA) could neither detain loyal citizens nor prevent them from going to the West Coast. The Court ruled that her exclusion from the West Coast and detention for three years without charges had been constitutional, but since Endo had proven herself to be a loyal citizen, she had to be given her freedom. On December 17th, one day before the Supreme Court announced their decision; the War Department rescinded the exclusion and detention orders. On the day of the decision, the WRA announced that all concentration camps would be closed within a year and that the WRA program would terminate its commission by the beginning of July 1946. Redress Begins A vast majority of the Japanese American community fully believed that the issue of

redress should start in the legislative body of the government. It was felt that it was the president s Executive Order 9066 that had authorized the evacuation and internment, and Congress s Public Law No. 503 that instituted civil penalties for those violating military orders. Therefore, this branch of the government should be the ones to make restitution. Although this was the most favored route to take among the Japanese Americans, dissension surfaced when the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) decided that its first step into the congressional arena would be to request that a federal study be conducted to investigate and make recommendations to the issue of redress. With the backing of the federal study s recommendations, Japanese Americans could then approach Congress

for the redress measures themselves. One section of the Japanese American community split off from the JACL view and opted to push for redress through the courts. Led by William Hohri of Chicago, the National Council for Japanese American Redress (NCJAR) was created in May 1979. NCJAR members felt that a commission should only be a fallback if efforts to win full monetary compensation failed. The approaches of the JACL and NCJAR were not completely in conflict; the relationship between both sides was strained, with verbal backbiting on both sides. Major opposition to the issuance of redress erupted during this time as well. One very noteworthy group was the Americans for Historical Accuracy (AFHA), a group led by Lillian Baker. The AFHA characterized itself as a Coalition Against

the Falsification of U.S.A. History. The AFHA maintained that the internment was not nearly as unpleasant of an experience for Japanese Americans like they claimed. The camps were a pleasant haven at a time of war. The group goes on to state that for former internees to be asking for monetary compensation and a national apology when the government fed, clothed, and housed them while the rest of the nation was fighting a war was absolutely outrageous. According to them, the internment had been necessary for national security reasons, and any attempt to apologize or make up for that legitimate act was ludicrous. Outside Factors Against Redress There are four very important factors that were being waged against the issue of redress. The first was the federal budget deficit. In 1980,