Dale Minami, Don Tamaki, Other Coram Nobis Legal Team Members Honored at Korematsu Institute Event on 40th Anniversary of Cases

Dale Minami, Don Tamaki, Other Coram Nobis Legal Team Members Honored at Korematsu Institute Event on 40th Anniversary of Cases

Minami Tamaki LLP Senior Counsels Dale Minami and Don Tamaki and other members of the legal teams representing Fred Korematsu, Gordon Hirabayashi, and Minoru Yasui were honored on October 21, 2023, in San Francisco at an event commemorating the 40th anniversary of the coram nobis cases that overturned their World War II convictions for defying the round-up of more than 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry.

(L-R): Peter Irons, Dale Minami, Prof. Eric Yamamoto, Hon. Marilyn Hall Patel (seated), Neal Katyal, Dr. Karen Korematsu, Hon. Mary Schroeder. Photo by Bob Hsiang

Thirty-seven years after the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the mass incarceration, secret Justice Department, Naval, FBI, and FCC intelligence reports surfaced, characterizing the Army’s claims that Japanese Americans were spying as “intentional falsehoods,” and admitting that Japanese Americans had committed no wrong and posed no threat. Despite whistleblowers urging the Solicitor General and the Attorney General that the Justice Department had a duty to disclose this evidence and not to lie to the Court, the evidence was altered, suppressed, and in one instance burned, in order to manipulate the outcome of these landmark decisions.

In 1983, the coram nobis petitions on behalf of Korematsu, Hirabayashi, and Yasui laid bare this fraud on the Court and resulted in the overturning of their criminal convictions. These landmark legal battles vindicated Japanese Americans and boosted their reparations movement by revealing not only that the mass racial round-up was wrong, but that the government knew it at the time.

(L-R): Prof. Eric Yamamoto, Dale Minami, Don Tamaki. Photo by Ember Oparowski.

The program featured a keynote by former Acting Solicitor General of the United States, Neal Katyal, who also received the Fred Korematsu Social Justice Award. The Hon. Marilyn Hall Patel and the Hon. Mary Schroeder participated in a fireside chat with the Hon. Ed Chen, Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and a member of the Korematsu legal team.

(L-R) Dale Minami, the Hon. Marilyn Hall Patel, and Dr. Karen Korematsu. Photo by Bob Hsiang

Judge Patel and Justice Schroeder issued the judgments that overturned the convictions of Fred Korematsu and Gordon Hirabayashi in their respective cases. Their courageous and brilliant decisions stand as a warning to the nation of the civil liberties disaster that can result when racism shouts louder than the Constitution.  

Minami Tamaki LLP was proud to be a sponsor of this special event.

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