Karen Korematsu, daughter of the late civil rights icon Fred Korematsu, will share her father’s story and the realities of Japanese-American incarceration during World War II in a lecture to judges 11 a.m. Oct. 23 at The National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada.
Her talk is not open to the general public, but media may attend by first notifying the College. She will be available for interviews following her talk.
Fred Korematsu challenged a federal order, issued after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, which authorized the removal of individuals of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast to imprisonment in internment camps. He was eventually convicted of violating the order.
Karen Korematsu, founder and executive director of the Fred T. Korematsu Institute, will talk about the realities of incarceration in the camps and about her father’s ultimate success, in 1983, in having his conviction overturned. A court ruled that the government had presented a falsified narrative of the threat posed by Japanese Americans. Earlier this year the Supreme Court finally reversed its 1944 ruling that the removal order was constitutional.
Ms. Korematsu will explain why teaching the history of Japanese-American incarceration is important to fighting the injustices of today, and why fighting for civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitution continues to be a cornerstone in the battle against injustices faced by marginalized communities.
Her talk is part of the College’s twice-annual Justice Jackson Lectures to judges enrolled in the NJC’s General Jurisdiction course for new judges. Previous lecturers in the series, begun in 1964, include Bryon White, Anthony Kennedy, Sandra Day O’Connor, George H.W. Bush, William French Smith and Edwin Meese. The series is named for Supreme Court Justice Robert Houghwout Jackson, who also served as America’s chief prosecutor during the Nuremberg War Trials.
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Anna-Leigh Firth, Communications/Marketing Intern
Created more than a half-century ago at the recommendation of a U.S. Supreme Court justice, The National Judicial College remains the only educational institution in America that teaches courtroom skills to judges of all types from all over the country, Indian Country and abroad. Judges served by this nonprofit and nonpartisan institution decide more than 95 percent of the cases in the United States.