- Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
- Individual versus society, Injustice, Patriotism - positive side or complications, Power of the past, Rights - individual or societal, War - glory, necessity, pain tragedy
- Widely available
This lesson prompts students to think about the balance of civil liberties and national security during times of national crisis by considering the Supreme Court case of Korematsu v. United States (1944). Fred Toyosaburo Korematsu fought against the mass removal of Japanese Americans during World War II by refusing to report to the Tanforan Assembly Center in 1942. He challenged his felony conviction on constitutional grounds, and the case was appealed to the Supreme Court where he lost in a 6-3 decision. In 1983, this conviction was vacated after information surfaced proving that the government had originally withheld critical evidence.