Skip to content

Kaine Introduces Resolution To Honor Civil Rights Hero Fred Korematsu

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine introduced a resolution honoring Fred Korematsu and recognizing January 30, 2017 as “Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution” for his work and advocacy of the civil rights and liberties of all people, and denouncing President Donald Trump’s executive order establishing a Muslim ban.

“Fred Korematsu is a role model for all people of the United States who love the United States and the promises contained in the Constitution of the United States, and the strength and perseverance of Fred Korematsu serve as an inspiration for all people who strive for equality and justice,” the Senators wrote.

In 1942, at the age of 23, Fred Korematsu was arrested for refusing to enter the internment camps for Japanese Americans. After his arrest, he appealed his case all the way to the Supreme Court, which upheld Executive Order 9066 based on military necessity. After 40 years, on November 10, 1983, Korematsu’s criminal conviction was overturned in a federal court in San Francisco. Korematsu remained a civil rights advocate throughout his life and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Bill Clinton in 1998. He passed away on March 30, 2005 at the age of 86.

The full text of the resolution can be found here.

The resolution is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Mazie Hirono, Bernie Sanders, Ron Wyden, Cory Booker, Brian Schatz, Sherrod Brown, Sheldon Whitehouse, Maria Cantwell, Elizabeth Warren, Richard Blumenthal, Jeff Merkley, Patty Murray, Chris Coons, and Richard Durbin.

A broad coalition of advocacy organizations support the resolution, including the Fred T. Korematsu Institute, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee & Defending Dissent Foundation, Demand Progress, Free Press Action Fund, Restore the Fourth, The Yemen Peace Project, and Fight for the Future.