Law and Contemporary Problems

A quarterly law journal publishing issues devoted to papers on a particular topic of contemporary interest. Topics usually reflect an interdisciplinary perspective with contributions by lawyers, economists, social scientists, scholars in other disciplines

Articles from Vol. 68, No. 2, Spring

A Commander's Power, a Civilian's Reason: Justice Jackson's Korematsu Dissent
I INTRODUCTION Robert Houghwout Jackson was a justice of the United States Supreme Court during the years of World War II. This article considers his great but potentially perplexing December 1944 dissent in Korematsu v. United States, (1) in...
A Penny for Their Thoughts: Draft Resistance at the Poston Relocation Center
"First, we were to prove our loyalty by going into centers; then we were to prove our loyalty by going out of the centers; now, we are to prove our loyalty by going to fight." --Japanese American man, Poston Relocation Center, January 24, 1944 (1)...
Foreword
The year 2004 saw the anniversaries of one of the Supreme Court's most celebrated race decisions and one of its most notorious. The better-known anniversary was the fiftieth of Brown v. Board of Education, (1) on May 17. Its memory was appropriately...
Interning the "Non-Alien" Other: The Illusory Protections of Citizenship
I INTRODUCTION Korematsu remains on the pages of our legal and political history. As a legal precedent is it now recognized as having very limited application. As historical precedent it stands as a constant caution that in times of war or declared...
Korematsu: A Melange of Military Imperatives
A well-known professorial critic of the United States Supreme Court, Professor Bernard Schwartz, has labeled Korematsu v. United States (1) as sixth among the ten "worst" decisions of the Supreme Court. (2) At the same time, this critic has listed...
Korematsu and Beyond: Japanese Americans and the Origins of Strict Scrutiny
I INTRODUCTION The story of the United States Supreme Court's epochal 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education (1) and the legal struggle for civil rights led by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) during...
Play It Again, Uncle Sam
Yesterday we heard from some of the surviving participants in the World War II Japanese American internment experience, including litigants and attorneys who participated in the various test cases in the United States Supreme Court and the lower federal...
The Constitution Glimpsed from Tule Lake
Old Man. But there are some That do not care what's gone, what's left: The souls in Purgatory that come back To habitations and familiar spots. Boy. Your wits are out again. Old Man. Re-live Their transgressions, and that not...
The Japanese American Cases, 1942-2004: A Social History
This essay addresses--and attempts to explain--the changing reactions (or, in some cases, the lack of reaction) by the government and by the public to the incarceration of the Japanese Americans of the West Coast during World War II and in the six...
Walking While Muslim
So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself--nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. (1) The only thing we have is fear. (2)...
Watching the Watchers: Enemy Combatants in the Internment's Shadow
I INTRODUCTION Punish him, yes. But please try to understand the defense's point of view that there is a corporate responsibility. --Lawyer for Ivan "Chip" Frederick, court-martialed for his crimes at Abu Ghraib (1) We are fighting an indefinite...
White (House) Lies: Why the Public Must Compel the Courts to Hold the President Accountable for National Security Abuses
History teaches us how easily the spectre of a threat to "national security" may be used to justify a wide variety of repressive government actions. A blind acceptance by the courts of the government's insistence on the need for secrecy, without notice...