NAPABA Supports Introduction of the Korematsu-Takai Civil Liberties Protection Act by Senators Duckworth and Hirono


For Immediate Release
Dec. 19, 2017

WASHINGTON — Yesterday, on the anniversary of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in the landmark case, Korematsu v. United States (1944), Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Representative Mark Takano (D-Calif.) introduced the Korematsu-Takai Civil Liberties Protection Act of 2017. The legislation would make it clear that the discriminatory detentions endorsed in Korematsu are prohibited.

“The specter of the Korematsu decision haunts us to this day,” said National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) President Pankit J. Doshi. “With this bill, Congress has the chance to repudiate the Supreme Court’s ruling and prevent the country from repeating a dark chapter of our nation’s history. We thank Senators Duckworth and Hirono, and Representative Takano, for their leadership in trying to overturn this widely condemned decision. As leaders in the legal profession and in recognition of our history as Asian Pacific Americans, NAPABA fully supports the introduction and passage of this legislation.”

“We, as a nation, must never forget or repeat the horrors thousands of Japanese Americans experienced as prisoners within our own borders. We must also continue to do everything we can to ensure such a national travesty never happens again. I’m proud to introduce this bill with Senator Hirono in remembrance of my dear friend and former colleague Mark Takai to reinstate our commitment to protecting civil liberties and strengthen our resolve to ensure we never again repeat such shameful acts,”said Senator Duckworth.

“The internment of Japanese Americans was deeply wrong and set a precedent — that it should never happen again. However, the President and his administration continue to advance divisive policies and rhetoric that demonize the Muslim community and other minority communities. By repudiating this legal precedent that could allow a travesty like the internment to happen again, we are standing up for the civil rights of all communities, a worthy cause that I’m sure our friend Mark Takai would have joined us on,”said Senator Hirono.

“This legislation is an important acknowledgement of the injustice suffered by my grandparents, parents, and more than 115,000 others who were relocated and imprisoned based on nothing more than their heritage,” said Representative Mark Takano. “This stain on our history must serve as a warning of what happens when we allow fear and hate to overwhelm our basic respect for one another. I am proud to introduce this legislation in the House, and I could not think of a more appropriate way to honor the memory of Congressman Mark Takai, who was a good friend, a great public servant, and an even better person.”

Read the Korematsu-Takai Civil Liberties Protection Act of 2017.

The bill, named in honor of Fred Korematsu and Rep. Mark Takai, would amend the Non-Detention Act of 1971 to bar detentions or imprisonment based on protected characteristics, including race or religion. The Non-Detention Act sought to repeal the Emergency Detention Act of 1950, a law that continued the legacy of Executive Order 9066, which led to the incarceration of 120,000 individuals on the basis of their Japanese ancestry under the guise of “military necessity” and national security. The Supreme Court found the orders constitutional following challenges by Fred Korematsu, Gordon Hirabayashi, and Minoru Yasui.

NAPABA worked with the offices of Sens. Duckworth, Hirono, and Rep. Takano, the Korematsu family and coram nobis legal teams, and civil rights groups to draft the bill that honors the legacy of Fred Korematsu, recognizes the history of Japanese American incarceration, and seeks to overturn the impact of the Supreme Court’s holding in Korematsu v. United States.

NAPABA is proud to join leading groups in the Asian Pacific American community — the Korematsu Institute, Stop Repeating History, the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies, the Japanese American Citizens League, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC — as original endorsers of the bill.

For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster, NAPABA communications manager, 202-775-9555, [email protected].  

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of almost 50,000 attorneys and over 80 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government.

NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.

To learn more about NAPABA, visit, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter(@NAPABA).

Opinion | Tom Brokaw: Friends Across Barbed Wire and Politics

Opinion | Tom Brokaw: Friends Across Barbed Wire and Politics

It Can Happen Here! The Fred Korematsu Story – Los Angeles Review of Books

It Can Happen Here! The Fred Korematsu Story – Los Angeles Review of Books

Novelist Kermit Roosevelt on the Internment of Japanese Americans

The Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights and Economic Development and the American Constitution Society invite you to join us for a conversation with novelist and University of Pennsylvania Law Professor Kermit Roosevelt.

Professor Roosevelt will discuss his acclaimed new novel, Allegiance, which explores the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII, arguably one of the most shameful civil rights violations committed by the U.S. government.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

5:30 p.m.

St. John’s School of Law
Belson Moot Court Room | Second Floor

We’re proud to foster an ongoing dialogue on civil rights at St. John’s Law and we hope you’ll join us and add your perspective to this vital community conversation.

More Information
You don’t need to RSVP to attend this event. If you have any question, please contact Professor Elaine Chiu at [email protected].

Bar Uses Historical Reenactments as ‘Teaching Tool’

Bar Uses Historical Reenactments as ‘Teaching Tool’

Press Release: Heart Mountain at Cadwalader, July 11

Cadwalader to Shed Light on World War II Draft Resister Case

NEW YORK, July 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP (Cadwalader), a leading counselor to global financial institutions and corporations, is hosting a unique event that will reenact the historic World War II case of the 63 Japanese-American draft resisters who were interned at Heart Mountain in Wyoming and refused to report for U.S. military service until their rights as citizens were restored.

The program will be presented by a team of Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) members, which includes Cadwalader Partner Kathy Hirata Chin and Special Counsel Lauren U.Y. Lee. The group develops and performs reenactments of important moments in Asian American legal history, which are first performed at the annual National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) convention in November. The Hon. Denny Chin, Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the Hon. Kiyo Matsumoto, Judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, will also participate in the evening’s program.

“I commend Judge Chin, Cadwalader Partner Kathy Chin and the entire team for their efforts to raise awareness of significant, yet often overlooked, moments in our nation’s legal history which impacted Asian Americans. The Heart Mountain case, in particular, challenged notions of citizenship and individual freedoms,” commented W. Christopher White, Chairman of Cadwalader. “As a firm, we are committed to supporting diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and are honored to host this unique program.”

Cadwalader previously hosted another performance by AABANY, which focused on two key Supreme Court cases from 1922 – Takao Ozawa v. United States and United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind. George Wickersham, a Cadwalader partner at that time, represented Mr. Ozawa in the former case.

About Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, established in 1792, is one of the world’s leading international law firms, with offices in New York, Washington, Charlotte, Houston, London, Hong Kong, Beijing and Brussels. Cadwalader serves a diverse client base, including many of the world’s top financial institutions, undertaking business in more than 50 countries in six continents. The firm offers legal expertise in antitrust, banking, business fraud, corporate finance, corporate governance, environmental, financial restructuring and reorganizations, healthcare, intellectual property, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, private client, private equity, real estate, regulation, securitization, structured finance, and tax. More information about Cadwalader can be found at


Adam Segall +1 212 504 6492

[email protected]

Elizabeth Hyland +1 212-850-5633

[email protected]

SOURCE Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft

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AAARI Friday Night Lecture Series: Hold These Truths


Please join the Asian American / Asian Research Institute for a talk on, Hold These Truths: The Gordon Hirabayashi Case, by Jeanne Sakata, on Friday, September 28, 2012, from 6PM to 8PM, at 25 West 43rd Street, Room 1000, between 5th & 6th Avenues, Manhattan. This talk is free and open to the general public.

Actor and playwright Jeanne Sakata will share her experiences in researching and writing her solo play HOLD THESE TRUTHS, inspired by the World War II experiences of Gordon Hirabayashi, a Japanese American college student who openly defied and legally challenged government orders to mass incarcerate all people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast.

Jeanne will speak about what inspired her to write the play, the research and interviews she used as her primary source material, the challenges in writing the play and getting it produced, and its developmental progress since its world premiere in 2007 at the East West Players in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo. She will also screen the documentary film, A PERSONAL MATTER, from which she first learned of Gordon Hirabayashi’s story.

HOLD THESE TRUTHS will have its New York premiere with the Epic Theatre Ensemble in October-November 2012.

To RSVP for this talk, please visit  

Can’t make it to the talk? Watch the live webcast on our homepage, starting 6:15PM EST. For details on all of AAARI’s upcoming events including our 11th Annual Gala, visit