Today in 1942, Franklin Roosevelt signed the infamous executive order 9066, authorizing the War Department to establish military zones that would serve as internment camps for Japanese and Italian Americans.
In all, approximately 120,000 people were summarily rounded up and placed into captivity, separated from their families, homes, property, and livelihood for long lengths of time.
This policy was set in motion through a presidential edict, without any respect to due process. It was imposed on the basis of ancestry, using wartime racially-motivated xenophobia as justification. In the 1944 case of Korematsu v. United States, the Supreme Court made rendered one of the most treacherous opinions in its history, upholding the supposed constitutionality of this policy.
The malevolence of this act should be recounted every time someone claims “it can’t happen here,” as if the United States is impervious to such tyranny. It did, and if individuals are continually negligent of these circumstances, it may very well be much worse next time.
Tenth Amendment Center
The Tenth Amendment Center is a national think tank that works to preserve and protect the principles of strictly limited government through information, education, and activism. The center serves as a forum for the study and exploration of state and individual sovereignty issues, focusing primarily on the decentralization of federal government power as required by the Constitution. For more information visit the Tenth Amendment Center Blog.