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In the Shadow of KorematsuDemocratic Liberties and National Security$
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Eric K. Yamamoto

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190878955

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190878955.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 September 2020

In the Light of Justice

In the Light of Justice

Concluding Thoughts

(p.141) 9 In the Light of Justice
In the Shadow of Korematsu

Eric K. Yamamoto

Oxford University Press

This chapter distills the book’s responses to two pivotal questions. If a sweeping, politically driven curtailment of fundamental liberties happens again, would the Korematsu majority’s highly deferential 1944 approach be expanded to new purposes to legitimize present-day transgressions of essential democratic liberties? Or would the courts undertake watchful care over those liberties by scrutinizing the government’s claim of necessity so that the talismanic incantation of national security itself does not enervate the judicial role? The chapter coalesces prior themes by first linking rubber-stamp judicial passivity to the deeply problematic shadow side of national security law; second by highlighting Korematsu and its coram nobis reopening as a cautionary tale; third, by repudiating Korematsu’s unconditional deference to the government’s claim of necessity; fourth by implicating judicial legitimacy in affirming Korematsu’s stated commitment to careful judicial scrutiny; and finally, by moving toward justice by breaking a key link in the chain of enduring injustice.

Keywords:   Korematsu, democratic liberties, happen again, deference, watchful care, judicial legitimacy, justice

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