Korematsu V. United States

Essay by dpuhuyaomaHigh School, 10th grade February 2014

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When is racial discrimination considered morally right? When is it considered constitutionally right? The first time racial discrimination was ever brought into the Supreme Court was the Korematsu v United States. (Source C) Korematsu v United States challenged the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II. The amendment affected in this case was the 5th Amendment which states no freedoms shall be deprived without due process of law. The final decision however stated that it was constitutionally fit to place Japanese Americans into internment camps.

This case arose during the time of World War II. Japan was at war with the United States and there were uneasy feelings about the Japanese population in America. A presidential order was placed in 1942 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to place all of those with "Foreign enemy Ancestry" be sent to internment camps. (Source A) The order was a direct response to the Pearl Harbor bombing that took place in 1941.

However a Japanese American man by the name of Fred Korematsu did not follow the Presidential order but instead challenged the order saying it violated the 5th Amendment. He was arrested for violating the order and taken to court.

The ruling of the case was 6-3 leaning towards the United States. The reason behind the decision was that although Korematsu was correct in the idea that the US Government cannot take away your freedoms is unconstitutional. The US Government can commit this act because it deals with national security.Which was helped decided by a previous case of Hirabayashi v United States which was based off of racial discrimination. National Security is the outlet or "loop hole" that allows the Government to act in a certain way that would be deemed unconstitutional and in violation of the 5th Amendment. (Source...