Korematsu v. the United States (1944)
Use the background information and the primary sources in the Graded Assignment: Primary Sources sheet to answer the following questions.
1. What prompted the sudden outpouring of racial prejudice against Japanese Americans after the attack on Pearl Harbor? Answer:
Chief Justice Owen J. Roberts had a hunch that the Japanese Americans may have aided the Japanese in the bombing of Pearl Harbor. This was most likely not true, but the U.S. was in such a state of distress that any ideas seemed plausible; therefore the Japanese Americans were deemed un-trustworthy. (5 points)
2. What did Fred T. Korematsu do that resulted in his arrest and conviction? Answer:
Fred T. Korematsu refused to report to a Japanese internment camp, when he was ordered to leave his home. (Civilian Executive order No.34) As a result, he was deemed a fugitive. (5 points)
3. According to the first paragraph from the excerpts of the majority opinion, what did the U.S. government believe some Japanese Americans would do if they were allowed to remain free on the West Coast? Answer:
In general, the majority of Americans thought that if the Japanese Americans were to remain free, they would spy on America, and try to sabotage our defenses. We did not want anyone giving Japan information. People did not want to take that chance, so they placed them in “government areas”/internment camps. (5 points)
4. The majority of the court believed that compulsory exclusion of large groups of citizens from their homes was okay in what situation? Answer:
The situation in which it was okay to remove citizens from their homes was in the state of war. When we are in war, and we are not safe, we must do as it takes to protect our country. (5 points)
5. Who determined that the military authorities had the power to segregate all citizens of Japanese descent from the West Coast? Answer:
The Supreme Court determined that the military authorities had the...
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