KOREMATSU V. US -How should national security be balanced against civil rights?

KOREMATSU V. US -How should national security be balanced against civil rights?
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How should national security be balanced against civil rights?

How should national security be balanced against civil rights?
KOREMATSU V. UNITED STATES (1944)

The Facts The Issue The Decision
• 1942, President Roosevelt ordered that select people could be banned from war zones
• The army relocated Japanese Americans on the West Coast to internment camps
• Fred Korematsu was arrested for resisting the army’s order • Korematsu Argued that he was denied equal protection under the law simply because he was a Japanese American The Court held that the military order was justified for security reasons. Three judges dissented. Justice Frank Murphy wrote that “internment “falls into the ugly abyss of racism”


WHY IT MATTERS
Most experts today agree with Murphy that the Korematsu case was a triumph of prejudice over justice. In recent years, the war on terrorism has revived talk of Korematsu in discussions of “racial profiling”. Racial Profiling is a law enforcement technique in which police or federal investigators single out members of a particular racial or ethnic group for questioning. Defenders of profiling argue that, because several deadly terrorist attacks were carried out by radical Muslims, it is only logical for law enforcement officials to pay special attention to Muslims. Critics insist that racial profiling is a form of prejudice that violated the civil rights of individuals.

CONNECT TO YOUR WORLD
Discussing racial profiling in 2004, Fred Korematsu warned, “No one should ever be locked away simply because they share the same race, ethnicity, or religion as a spy or terrorist. If that principle was not learned from the internment of Japanese Americans, then these are very dangerous times for our democracy.”

Task:
Write an editorial agreeing or disagreeing with Fred Korematsu’s position. How should national security be balanced against civil rights?



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