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On 16, Feb 2012 | No Comments | In | By admin

Korematsu and Civil Liberties

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On May 30, 1942, Fred Korematsu was arrested on a streetcorner in San Leandro, California. He knew he was breaking federal law – he had even undergone plastic surgery to avoid detection. His crime? Fred Korematsu was Japanese-American.

Korematsu and Civil Liberties tells the story of one man’s 40 year struggle for justice and the consequences a nation faces when weighing national security, politics, and its Constitutional obligations.

During World War II, 120,000 people in the United States were placed in internment camps. They weren’t soldiers captured on battlefields – all of them were civilians and most were American citizens. But they were also all of Japanese descent and that alone made them suspect.

In February of 1942, just months after Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed an executive order allowing the military to evacuate all people Japanese ancestry from the West Coast of the United States. A short time later, Congress made it law.

The internment “was not necessary,” Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer says in the film. “I think it is universally acknowledged that that was an error.”


  • The Constitution Project: Korematsu and Civil Liberties was honored with the Gold Hermes Creative Award from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP), presented to those judged to exceed the high standards of the industry.

  • Producer, Writer and Narrator, Robe Imbriano

    Field Producer, Carla Denly

    Associate Producer, Sandra McDaniel

    Editor, Marc Tidalgo

    Graphics Animators, Victoria Nece and Hiroaki Sasa

    Camera, Dave Dellaria, Brett Wiley and Edward Marritz

    Production Associate, Gregory Blanc

    Research, María E. Matasar-Padilla

    Supervising Producer, Christina Lowery

    Sound, Dave Baum, Brian Buckley and Mark Mandler

    Music, Ben Decter and Gavin Allen

    Additional Camera, Tony Forma and Daryl Patterson

    Additional Sound, Jeff Edrich

    Senior Producer, Kayce Freed Jennings

    Executive Producer, Tom Yellin