Korematsu v. United States

323 U.S. 214 (1944) E


At the start of WWII, President Roosevelt issued an executive order authorizing military commanders to prescribe military areas from which any and all persons may be excluded and conditioned any right for anyone to remain or leave to be subject to the restrictions as may be established by the military commander. On March 21, 1942, Congress made it a criminal violation for a civilian to disobey an order of a military commander pursuant to the executive order. Korematsu (D) was an American citizen of Japanese ancestry. He was convicted of violating a civilian exclusion order by remaining in a 'military area.' This order was enacted on May 9, 1942, for national defense reasons. It stated that all people who were of Japanese ancestry were excluded from the West Coast of the United States to protect against acts of espionage and sabotage during World War II. People of Japanese descent were to go to certain relocation centers under military control for an indefinite period-of-time. D refused to leave his home in violation of the order. D was convicted. D appealed, claiming that the order denied equal protection.