Court Cases Revisited


    The three U.S. Supreme Court cases of Hirabayashi, Korematsu and Yasui were challenged by a team of young Sansei lawyers who had been advised by Professor Peter Irons of the University of California, San diego.  He and Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga had found new material in the National Archives that had not been given to the Supreme Court justices in the original cases; that evidence favorable to the defendants had been suppressed by the U.S. government.  In 1983, the team filed lawsuits on behalf of all three defendants using a petition
for a write of error coram nobis, a provision to open up the cases based on the fact that the original trials were tainted by “fundamental errors.”  Using the documents found, the legal team worked to reverse the convictions of the three men. Their hard work, legal skills and devotion were rewarded when the federal district courts in San Francisco, Portland and Seattle vacated the original convictions of Korematsu (1983), Yasui (1985), and Hirabayashi (1986).
 

Legal challenge: Fred Korematsu, Peter Irons and legal team.

The Redress Movement