From the Archive
Quest for Justice: A Profile of Gordon Hirabayashi
"I felt that during the war it would be hard to get justice... During
the war nothing that the army said was questioned."
-- Gordon Hirabayashi
(Republished from December 2007) Over the years Densho has interviewed hundreds of Japanese Americans
and others who offer diverse perspectives of the World War II
incarceration. Among the interviewees are individuals who played key
roles in the fight to prove that the forced removal and detention were
unconstitutional, and that the government's justification of military
necessity was false. One of those key players is Gordon Hirabayashi,
who as a twenty-four-year-old college student, schooled in his
constitutional rights, went to jail rather than obey the "evacuation"
orders. His challenge became one of four test cases to reach the
>> Read more of this article
Gordon Hirabayashi Obituaries
Below is a sampling of press notices of Gordon Hirabayashi's death.
Looking Back at the Supreme Court Case of Hirabayashi v United States
In 1943 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a racial curfew imposed on Japanese Americans during World War II. The government lawyers argued that the curfew was a constitutional response to the serious threat of a Japanese invasion of the West Coast. In 2010, Professor Eric Muller of the University of North Carolina School of Law published an article demonstrating how government lawyers made misrepresentations to the U.S. Supreme Court about a possible Japanese invasion.
A year later, Neal Katyal, the Acting Solicitor General of the United States released a Confession of Error by the Solicitor General for its role in the Hirabayashi and Korematsu cases.
>> Professor Eric Muller's article
>> Confession of Error by the Solicitor General
Conference Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Hirabayashi coram nobis case
The Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality will host a conference Feb. 11, 2012, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Ninth Circuit opinion in the Hirabayashi v. United States coram nobis case.
The conference will celebrate Mr. Hirabayashi's courage in resisting military orders that imposed curfews on Japanese Americans and ordered them to report for incarceration; reflect on his 1943 Supreme Court case that upheld his convictions and the extraordinary work of his legal team in reopening of his case nearly 40 years later; and use his case as a springboard to move forward in the struggle for civil rights.
>> For more information