The case Korematsu v. United States illustrates that the principles imbedded in the Constitution of the United States can be violated or at least misinterpreted, especially at the time when the country has to cope with a threat to national security.
We will write a custom Essay on The Case Korematsu v. United States specifically for you
301 certified writers online
This paper is aimed at discussing the opinions of judges who had to pass verdict about the internment of Japanese Americans and their exclusion from military areas. It is important to examine three themes, namely national security, race, and the constitutionality of the internment since they are vital for legislators.
Justices Hugo Black and Felix Frankfurter supported the decision of the government. In their opinion, internment was not motivated by racial prejudices against Japanese Americans. They believed that the internment of these citizens was motivated by the necessity, in particular, the war with Japan. This is one of the main points that they made. In contrast, Justice Frank Murphy disagreed with this argument.
In his opinion, racial considerations did play a vital role, and these biases affected the views of legislators. Additionally, he noted that Americans of German or Italian origin were not interred, even though both Germany and Italy could potentially pose a threat to the national security of the country. This example indicates at the inconsistency of governmental policies. This is one of the main issues that should be considered.
Furthermore, it is vital to focus on such a theme as national security. Hugo Black and Felix Frankfurter believed that during the war with Japan, the government of the United States had to take precautions in order to protect the state. In their opinion, Japanese Americans might cooperate with the government of Japan. Therefore, the decisions of the military leaders could be justified at that time.
In contrast, Justices Murphy and Jackson opposed to this decision by saying that the ethnic background of a person could not turn him/her into a suspect. They believed that this approach to the national security was driven by racial prejudice, rather than evidence. This is why they did not support the policies of the state.
Finally, it is vital to discuss the constitutionality of the internment. None of the judges believed that the exclusion order fully complied with the principles of the U.S constitution. Nevertheless, they looked at this problem from different perspectives.
For example, Justices Jackson and Murphy argued that the U.S Constitution did not prevent the government from taking expedient military precautions, especially at the time when the country was at war. However, they did not speak about the privileges guaranteed to the citizens.
In their turn, Murphy and Jackson clearly stated that the exclusion order was constitutional because the liberty of a person could not be restricted without due process. These are the main aspects that can be identified.
In my view, this court ruling was not legitimate and the exclusion could not be upheld because ethnicity cannot be the measurement of a person’s loyalty to the country. It should be mentioned that Korematsu was born in the United States.
More importantly, he held the citizenship of the country, and he possessed certain unalienable rights that had to be safeguarded. This is why Korematsu and other Japanese Americans could not be removed from their homes or official posts. This is the main argument that can be put forward.