Korematsu v. United States is a locus classicus case in the Constitutional law of the United States of America. The case was decided by a nine-judge-bench of the Supreme Court of the United States of America.
The suit was premised upon an executive order 9066 that was issued by the then government of the United States of America. The Order was to have American Japanese detained in internment camps irregardless of their citizenship during the Second World War. This was an order by the Commanding general of the Western Defense Command in a bid to try and avoid sabotage and espionage from Japan who were rivals to the United States of America during the said war. The very order, in addition to the Act of March 21, 1942 provided for the exclusion of all persons of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast military area. It was then that one American Citizen of Japanese ancestry defied the orders and was caught up with, arrested and convicted.
The Circuits Court of Appeal upheld Mr. Komatsu’s conviction and when the matter was taken to the Supreme Court of the United States of America, the Supreme Court issued an order of certiorari. The Supreme Court in a 6:3 decision upheld that exclusion order was constitutional. The case Hirabayashi v. United States that was decided in the year 1943 was largely referred to when this matter got to court as the same was a precedent that Korematsu relied on to establish his case before the Court. The decision of the court in this matter was written by one of the judges, Justice Hugo black who in the decision stated that Koramatsu’s case was largely indistinguishable to that of Hirabayashi v. United States; that was decided almost exactly a year before Koramatsu’s case was argued at the United States Supreme Court. The Court in Harabayashi’s case upheld the curfew order and Justice Black relied on the same principles that were relied on in the Hirabayashi decision and stated that the case before hand had nothing to do with racial prejudice and the order to exclude persons of Japanese ancestry was simply because America was at war with the Japanese empire.
Justice Felix Frankfurter concurred with Justice Black’s decision and added that provisions of the United States constitution that confer upon the congress and the President of the United States to wage war against any other state was as much part of the constitution as those provisions that provide for rights and liberties as well as the security of the country.
Although six judges of the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the exclusion order, 3 judges had dissenting opinions and Justice Murphy was one of the judges who had dissenting opinions and his most vocal opinions was that excluding the Japanese from certain areas fell directly into the ugly abyss of racism and was an act of dictatorship directed against the minority group which the United States of America at the time had pledged to eradicate. In his dissenting opinion, Justice Murphy stated that upholding the constitutionality of the Japanese exclusion was a direct form of legalizing racism.
Justice Robert Jackson also dissented stating that the court has a role in upholding the Constitution of the United States even if the same goes against the Military’s ways. He emphasized that even the military should operate within the confines of the law and where they go out of their way it is the duty of the court to voice that concern. His dissenting opinion also touched a lot on racism as he stated that even though Koramatsu’s parents were born in Japan, he himself was born in America and as such the United States constitution made him a citizen of the United States of America.
This submission takes the opinion that the decision of the Supreme Court in Koramatsu v. United States was not fair. Just like the dissenting judges stated, this was an obvious act of racism and/or legitimizing racism. The fact that Koramatsu was born in the United States of America, he was by virtue of birth a citizen of the United States of America. Koramatsu as an American citizen in line with the Constitution had a right to enjoy his rights, liberties and freedom’s as conferred upon him by the United States Constitution. It therefore goes without say that his Fifth Amendment rights were grossly violated and the decision of the Court was contrary to Natural justice; it can only be fair for an American Citizen to be treated like an American and not fall right into the Jaws of Prejudice and Racism just because of his ancestry. Going by the Agrarian Revolution a large population of the United States of America has their roots in a different continent and as such Koramatsu ought not to have been treated any different, he was an American.
Question two: Minimum Wage
The minimum wage issue had recently hit the Headlines in the United States of America, first during the United States Federal government attempt at raising the minimum wage in stages to $9 per hour for the under-skilled persons in the United States of America. The issue that has been in the country over the minimum wage is that the minimum pay is so low that it cannot sustain a decent life and efforts by the government to raise the minimum wage has also faced a lot of opposition from various sectors. For example, in the year 2013, the Federation of Independent Businesses opposed the move by the president to raise the minimum wage because doing so would end up reducing the employment levels of the under-skilled persons in the United States of America. Other industries warned that such a move had an effect of hampering job creation in the country.
A number of persons in business community argued that the Corporation tax in the United States of America is extremely high compared to the other nations of the world and increasing the minimum wage has an impact on the profits that companies in Industries that require a lot of human resource would make and that would be bad because the sole purposes for the existence of those corporations is to make profits. Financial experts also warned that raising the minimum wage meant that corporations would increase the prices of the various commodities they deal in; in order for them to be able to sustain the increased wage burden and at the same time stay in business.
Another issue that financial experts have raised is that increasing the minimum wage would mean that many American corporations that require large human resources would move out of America and set shop in countries such as china which offer cheap labor which in return would reduce the revenue collected by the federal government from corporations and as such would hurt the already dented American Economy. Even though the various opinions from the various sectors of the economy and the various financial experts have not been backed up by any real evidence, they make a lot of logical and economic sense.
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