Resisters and Court Cases

    A number of Nisei men resisted the draft on the grounds that they had been deprived of their constitutional rights.  They refused to report for induction until their rights were restored and their families released from the camps.  In all, 267 men were convicted of draft resistance and sentenced to three years in federal prison.  

    There were others who resisted the government orders early on.  Gordon Hirabayashi, Fred Korematsu and Minoru Yasui brought their cases before the courts, challenging the constitutionality of the curfew and forced removal and internment.  All the cases made their way to the U.S. Supreme Court.  All three cases were lost to the war-time hysteria.
                                                                                                                    However, Mitsuye Endo, an American citizen of
                                                                                                                    Japanese ancestry with a brother in the U.S. Army, filed a Write of Habeas Corpus charging that the U.S. government had no right to detain loyal citizens who were innocent of any wrongdoing.  On December 18, 1944 the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously agreed that Endo should be released.

        Major General Pratt, then Commander of Military Area #1, suspended all exclusion orders.  Detained Japanese Americans then were free to return to their homes on the West Coast.

Related Links

Trial of 63 Japanese American draft resisters from the Heart Mountain Relocation Center.

(from NJAHS 1995)

Draft Reinstated                                                                                                               

Camps Close