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Hirabayashi v. United States


In this decision, the Court reasoned that although racial discrimination was usually irrelevant and illegal, "in time of war residents having ethnic affiliations with an invading enemy" might pose a greater threat to national security than other citizens. It also found that the urgency of war sometimes forced government to depend on military authorities to make quick decisions and take action. Based on this reasoning, the president's orders and the implementation of a curfew on Japanese Americans in wartime were deemed constitutional. In 1987 the conviction was successfully challenged and Hirabayashi was vindicated.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1941 to 1953Hirabayashi v. United States - Significance, An Atmosphere Of Suspicion, A Waiver Of Rights?, Equal Protection Versus Winning A War