Not as a possibility but in fact an actual reality that did happen in time of crisis, fear, unlawful executive order, racism, lies, false impression of law, etc..
Unlike C-19 or the Muslim ban. Between 1942 and the end of World War II, in U.S. history forced relocated, between 115,000-120,000 Japanese-Americans that were unlawfully forced from their homes and transported to concentration camps all over the western United States.
The unlawful policy was the direct result of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066. Signed in the wake of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the order targeted all West Coast Japanese ancestry—whether citizens or not—as “enemy aliens” not because they did something actually wrong or intentionally spread a virus, but because their race.
Fred Korematsu, the son of Japanese immigrants lived in San Francisco, defied government and public servant overreach, refusing to be separated so to remain with his Italian-American girlfriend while Fred Korematsu family was forcefully transported to a concentration camp in Tanforan, Calif. He took on a new identity and had plastic surgery to alter his facial appearance, but later was caught on May 30, 1942 and forcefully kidnapped against Fred Korematsu will to Tanforan.
The court unlawfully upheld curfews for Japanese-Americans in Yasui v. United States and Hirabayashi v. United States as constitutional. The cases served as the foundation for the Korematsu case, with the justices ruling 6-3 to uphold the baseless arrest and internment.
Justice Hugo Black, writing the majority opinion, defended the unlawfularrest and internment on the basis of national security: “He was excluded because we are at war with the Japanese Empire, because the properly constituted military authorities feared an invasion of our West Coast and felt constrained to take proper security measures. Which was based on baseless fear and racism.
When dissenting this is what they had to say. Justices Frank Murphy, Robert Jackson and Owen Roberts dissented. Murphy wrote that the decision was a “legalization of racism,” while Jackson warned of its potential consequences.
“The Court for all time has validated the principle of racial discrimination in criminal procedure and of transplanting American citizens,” he wrote. “The principle then lies about like a loaded weapon ready for the hand of any authority that can bring forward a plausible claim of an urgent need.”
While SCOTUS held the unlawful Trump travel ban and at the same time The Supreme Court also overturned a long-criticized decision that had upheld the constitutionality of Japanese-American internment during World War II.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor had mentioned the 1944 case, Korematsu v. United States, in her dissent, arguing the rationale behind the majority decision had “stark parallels” to Korematsu; in both cases, she argued, the government “invoked an ill-defined national security threat to justify an exclusionary policy of sweeping proportion.”
Upholding the racist and shamefully writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts argued that the case was not relevant to the travel ban, but went ahead and wrote that the Korematsu v. United States is now overturned.
“The dissent’s reference to Korematsu … affords this Court the opportunity to make express what is already obvious: Korematsu was gravely wrong the day it was decided, has been overruled in the court of history, and — to be clear — ‘has no place in law under the Constitution,’” he wrote.
Korematsu arose out of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1942 executive order mandating that Japanese-Americans forcefully leave their homes and jobs for concentration camps. Between 115,000-120,000 Japanese were ultimately removed from their homes. Civil rights activist Fred Korematsu, who died in 2005, challenged the unlawful interment, but the Supreme Court ruled that his detention was a military necessity.
Fred Korematsu’s daughter Karen, who now runs a civil liberties institute in her father’s name, had filed a friend of the court briefing against the Trumps unconstitutional travel ban, and argued in a Washington Post op-ed last December that the policy “just as unfair” as the Japanese internment executive order her father unjustifiably suffered from.
“Korematsu is a reminder that while we may sometimes be afraid during times of crisis, fear should not prevail over our fundamental freedoms.,” she wrote at the time.
June 12, 1995 in Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pena (No. 93-1841)
GINSBURG, J., Dissenting Opinion
The statutes and regulations at issue, as the Court indicates, were adopted by the political branches in response to an “unfortunate reality”: “[t]he unhappy persistence of both the practice and the lingering effects of racial discrimination against minority groups in this country.” Ante at ___ (lead opinion). The United States suffers from those lingering effects because, for most of our Nation’s history, the idea that “we are just one race,” ante at ___ (SCALIA, J., concurring in part and concurring in judgment), was not embraced. For generations, our lawmakers and judges were unprepared to say that there is in this land no superior race, no race inferior to any other. In Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896), not only did this Court endorse the oppressive practice of race segregation, but even Justice Harlan, the advocate of a “color-blind” Constitution, stated:
The white race deems itself to be the dominant race in this country. And so it is, in prestige, in achievements, in education, in wealth and in power. So, I doubt not, it will continue to be for all time, if it remains true to its great heritage and holds fast to the principles of constitutional liberty.
The lead opinion uses one term, “strict scrutiny,” to describe the standard of judicial review for all governmental classifications by race. Ante at ___. But that opinion’s elaboration strongly suggests that the strict standard announced is indeed “fatal” for classifications burdening groups that have suffered discrimination in our society. That seems to me, and, I believe, to the Court, the enduring lesson one should draw from Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1944); for in that case, scrutiny the Court described as “most rigid,” id. at 216, nonetheless yielded a pass for an odious, gravely injurious racial classification. See ante at ___ (lead opinion). A Korematsu-type classification, as I read the opinions in this case, will never again survive scrutiny: such a classification, history and precedent instruct, properly ranks as prohibited.
Scalia said in a speech that it was wrong but warned that it could happen again. “In times of war, the laws fall silent,” he said.
In the majority opinion Tuesday, Roberts quoted from Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson’s famous dissent in Korematsu.
Jackson, who later served as a chief prosecutor for the U.S. in the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals, argued that the majority decision upholding internment would set a bad precedent.
He noted that a military order would eventually lapse, but a judicial opinion would validate racial discrimination by creating new principles to justify it.
It is hard for some to swallow the evidence presented to them and some still choose to ignore the actual facts. Some would rather embrace fear than to believe those entrusted with limited power would commit evil against them, which even their own founding fathers witnessed and studied in history in order to place mandated restraints against those who would dare repeat such unlawful acts. It would be good for any society to acknowledge that there will be those who would take advantage of an individual, not for the better for that individual that fears but for his/her own personal benefits.