National Constitution CenterCenturies of Citizenship: A Constitutional Timeline Exhibit
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1931-1946: We meet crisis in the Depression, and again in World War II

December 18, 1944
“Persons of Japanese ancestry” have been sent to relocation camps

Japanese relocation camps

Since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, our Pacific Coast is considered a vulnerable military area.

President Roosevelt ordered more than 110,000 men, women and children of Japanese ancestry—including more than 70,000 born in America—to leave their homes and businesses on the West Coast. Most were moved inland to remote relocation centers.

Many people protest that this is racist and unconstitutional. But in today’s Korematsu case, the Supreme Court said it won't question the president's judgment that the relocations are a wartime necessity.

Justice Jackson vehemently disagreed. The Court, says Jackson, has “validated the principle of racial discrimination.”

This executive order, he insists, has “no place in law under the Constitution.”

Read about it in the New York times

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