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The Controversial Executive Order 9066: A Dark Chapter in American History

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Delve into the impact of Executive Order 9066 on Japanese Americans.

description: a black and white photograph of japanese american families boarding buses with their belongings, escorted by armed guards. the somber expressions on their faces reflect the fear and uncertainty of being forcibly relocated under executive order 9066.

Is statesmanship compatible with constitutional government? Scholars have posited the possibility of “constitutional statesmanship” in times of crisis, where leaders must make difficult decisions that may challenge civil liberties. One such decision was Executive Order 9066, issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II.

With an Executive Order, Presidents can change course without the approval of Congress. In the case of Executive Order 9066, President Roosevelt bypassed Congress to authorize the forced relocation and internment of over 100,000 Japanese Americans living on the West Coast.

Excerpts from "Confinement and Ethnicity: An Overview of World War II Japanese American Relocation Sites" by J. Burton, M. Farrell, F. Lord, and R. Lord shed light on the harsh realities faced by Japanese Americans during this dark period in American history. The forced relocation disrupted families, destroyed livelihoods, and subjected innocent individuals to discrimination and hardship.

The FDR Library and Museum will host an exhibit on the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, highlighting the impact of Executive Order 9066 on a community that faced unfounded suspicion and prejudice. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about this tragic chapter in American history and reflect on the importance of upholding civil liberties in times of crisis.

I know it seems silly to belabor the issue now that he's no longer in office, but I think it's important to set the record straight that President Roosevelt's decision to issue Executive Order 9066 was a grave violation of the constitutional rights of Japanese Americans. The Supreme Court later upheld the order in the infamous Korematsu v. United States case, a decision that continues to be criticized for its endorsement of racial profiling and discrimination.

The legacy of Executive Order 9066 serves as a reminder of the dangers of unchecked executive power and the importance of upholding constitutional principles, even in times of crisis. The forced internment of Japanese Americans remains a stain on American history, underscoring the need for vigilance in protecting the rights of all individuals, regardless of their background.

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