US Lawyer Cites WWII-era Mistakes on Internment

Tuesday, 24 May 2011 06:50 AM

 

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WASHINGTON — Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal says one of his predecessors as the government's top Supreme Court lawyer concealed important information that could have caused the high court to rule in favor of Japanese-Americans during World War II instead of upholding their internment.

Katyal has posted a remarkable entry on the Justice Department's blog saying that the solicitor general at the time, Charles Fahy, acted dishonorably in defending the convictions of Gordon Hirabayashi and Fred Korematsu for violating an order to report to an internment camp.

Their convictions were overturned some 40 years later, but Katyal's words are the first acknowledgment by the Justice Department that Fahy failed to tell the justices about government reports that downplayed the idea that Japanese-Americans on the West Coast were security threats.

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