North Carolina Asian American Civil Rights Conference:
Progress of Asian American Immigration
April 9, 2016
9:00am - 4:00pm
Self-reported CLE Credit Avaliable.
The Asian American community at UNC-CH, and the Asian American Legal Network are partnering to host the second annual NC Asian American Legal Conference. When talking about race, Asians are often marginalized or overlooked. The goal of the NC AACRC is to explore and examine the history of civil rights issues faced by Asian Americans in society, along with where the Asian American Civil Rights Movement is today. The conference will be held at UNC School of Law | VanHecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road. The detailed schedule can be found under PROGRAMMING.
We would like to kick-start the conference with an re-enactment of Minori Yasui's legal journey in his case: Yasui v. United States, 320 U.S. 115 (1943).
Minoru Yasui was born in 1916 in Hood River, Oregon, where he graduated from high school in 1933. He then graduated from the University of Oregon in 1937, and that college’s law school in 1939. On March 28, 1942, he deliberately broke the military implemented curfew in Portland, Oregon, by walking around the downtown area and then presenting himself at a police station after 11:00 pm in order to test the curfew’s constitutionality. On June 12, 1942, Judge Fee of the United States District Court for the District of Oregon began presiding over the non-jury trial of Yasui, the first case challenging the curfew to make it to court. Although the curfew was interpreted to not apply to US citizens, Fee ruled that because Yasui had worked for the Japanese government he had forfeited his US citizenship, thus the curfew applied to him. Fee sentenced Yasui to one year in jail, which was served at the Multnomah County Jail, and $5,000 fine. The Supreme Court heard arguments in the case on May 10 and May 11, 1943; Citing Hirabayashi, Chief Justice Stone wrote the opinion of the court, and determined that the curfew and exclusion orders were valid, even as applied to citizens of the United States. The opinion was three pages, compared to the Hirabayashi decision which had thirty-four pages and two concurring opinions. Yasui was eventually released and moved into a Japanese internment camp. Korematsu v. United States was decided the next year and overshadowed both the Yasui and Hirabayashi cases. However, none of these cases have ever been overturned by the Supreme Court.