True Democracy


The Pacific Citizen:
     I should like to remind the California Japanese that the thousands of friends who came to wave "goodbye" in 1942 when they saw them off on the train are still their friends. Real friendship is not such a weak thing that minings by fascists in certain newspapers can break it up.
     Your neighbors in Lemon Grove, Spring Valley and other warm California valleys know that you always had a grand record as law-abiding citizens and that your sons are off fighting America's battles.
     I used to teach your children in school and I hate to think that many of you are planning on leaving this really beautiful state. No matter where you go there may be a few who understand nothing of democracy, raving around, but for every unjust person you will find a hundred good people ready to help and pull for you to reestablish yourselves.
     I can see where some of you have grown bitter—but nothing is to be gained by such an attitude.
     Just remember that war is cruel and hard. Come back and join your hands and hearts and we will eliminate war, greed and racial hates. All is not lost—true democracy has to win out as it is right.
     I live at Lemon Grove, Rt. 1, Box 400 B. If I can be of any help in any way call on me.  I, like other thousands, am ready to help good people get back to the good clean soil of California.

Willis Richardson
 Source: Pacific Citizen, Saturday, March 10, 1945, page 5

Returned Evacuees Offered Farm Jobs in Fresno District

 FRESNO, Cal.—ln spite of the fact that a number of instances of terrorism against returned evacuees of Japanese ancestry have occurred in the Fresno area scores of Japanese Americans are offered employment on farms in the Fresno district and are expected to arrive soon. H. B. (Dutch) Leonard, one-time major league baseball star who operates several large ranches near Fresno, disclosed that he has hired several families of Japanese ancestry and expects more. He added that when he has completed his quota he will have about 75 persons of Japanese ancestry employed, and that other large operators in the area are making similar plans, especially for holdings in the Lac Jac and Armona districts.
   O. Leon Anderson, acting head of the WRA office in Fresno, said he had received no official notice that the evacuees were being brought in for farm work, but said that this is not strange, since no notification of his office is required.
    He stated that when the evacuees leave a relocation center “they are free to go wherever they please, even as you and I.”
     “It is possible for any farmer or anyone else to offer employment t the released evacuees and to arrange for their transportation,” he said.
Source Pacific Citizen, Saturday June 9, 1945, page 2

Federal Judge Rules Military Had No Right to Enforce Expulsion Orders Against Nisei

Judge Hall Orders Injunction to Restrain Western Defense Commander From Using Military Force to Prevent Return of Litigants to Coast

LOS ANGELES - Ruling that the military authorities had no power to enforce exclusion orders against Americans of Japanese descent, or of any descent, Judge Peirson M. Hall, of the Federal District Court at Los Angeles, last Friday ordered an injunction to issue restraining Major General H. C. Pratt, Western Defense commander, from interfering with or preventing by military or physical force the right of Elmer Yamamoto, Dr. George Ochikubo, and Kiyoshi Shigekawa to return to California and the Pacific Coast.

     All are American citizens of Japanese ancestry. Yamamoto is an attorney, residenced and practicing law at Los Angeles before his evacuation, and is now in the Poston Relocation Center. Shigekawa is a former San Pedro, Cal., resident, active in the Fishermen's Union, American Federation of Labor, and Dr. Ochikubo is a practicing dentist, formerly from Oakland, and now at the Topaz Relocation Center. The test cases were supported by the American Civil Liberties Union to secure a court ruling as to whether the exercise of military force in the enforcement of military exclusion orders is constitutional.

     Judge Hall took the view took it was unnecessary for him to decide whether the individual exclusion orders issued by the military authorities of themselves were unconstitutional, since he ruled that the military orders can legally be enforced only in the Federal and Civil Courts, and that when a subject of an exclusion order is prosecuted in the Federal Courts for a violation of an Act of Congress, which makes it a crime to disobey a military order, he would be then giving full opportunity to have his claim that the military order was unconstitutional passed upon by the Federal Courts.

     Although holding that the courts could not pass upon the question of military necessity, and that the question was for the decision by the military authorities, Judge Hall outlined the grave consequences of the unlimited exercise of military power over the entire civilian population along the Pacific Coast as well as throughout the entire United States. Of the sweeping power claimed by the military authorities, Judge Hall said:

     "It was asserted from the witness stand that the commanding general has the power and right to physically remove by 'necessary' military force at any time of the day or night any person, or all persons from the area of the Western Defense Command who might violate any order or proclamation of the commanding general, and this power and right is asserted, not alone against persons of Japanese extraction, but is claimed to exist over 'every inhabitant' within the area of the Western Defense Command, regardless of the citizenship, occupation or any other circumstances of the person or persons involved, except the single circumstance that the commanding general has, as a matter of military necessity, concluded that such person must be excluded as a potentially dangerous person because -such person has violated a fiat of the commanding general; and the testi- mony that 25 persons, most, if not all, of whom were citizens, only one of whom was of Japanese extraction, had been moved from this area by physical and military force, the last one in October, 1944, by a squad of six armed soldiers and three officers."

    He noted that: "Actually, the power ... of one commanding general, or another, of one defense command, or another, may extend to every person within the continental United States."

   Of this power, Judge Hall stated:. ."If the powers exist as asserted then an effective means has been found for actually suspending the writ of habeas corpus without appearing to do so, as it would only be necessary for a capricious commanding general to create a military area which would encompass the territory within which the courts are situated having jurisdiction over him, and then to remove therefrom all persons who might violate whatever restrictions he may impose in his discretion. He might, under his contentions as to power, remove the judges of the courts and the civil authorities. It is not suggested that this is likely to happen or that any commanding general would be apt to do so. But the inquiry is on the question of the extent of his power. And if these possibilities sound startling, it must be remembered that under Executive Order 9066, curfew was imposed upon a class of more than one hundred thousand persons, most of whom were citizens; that blackout and dimout regulations applied to all persons; that flying regulations are now in existence which apply to all persons; that cameras, radios and other personal property harmless in themselves were denied to the possession of a designated class of citizens exceeding a hundred thousand in number, and that as recently as January 25, 1945, Civilian Restrictive Order No. 33 was issued which applies to all persons and prohibits any person from transferring or delivering certain designated articles to any excluded, and that as a matter of common knowledge these articles were surrendered to the various sheriffs and chiefs of police, so that this order contemplates that if these civil authorities still have such articles in their possession, they are subject to the power of removal by the commanding general; and that the basis of these, as of every order and proclamation issued by the commanding general under Executive Order 9066, is his finding that 'military necessity' requires them.

     "If the military commander may by military force summarily remove from the State of California (or any other place for that matter) any person which he may decide has violated any of the orders heretofore or hereafter promulgated by him, then surely his power is of the most drastic and absolute kind. According to Judge Hall, the power to enforce military orders was lodged exclusively in the civil, not in the military, authorities. The federal jurist thus put it:

     "Neither congress nor the chief executive, apparently conscious of the constitutional supremacy of the civil authorities, in delegating such vast power over the conduct and lives of the entire population, saw fit to permit the use of military force to execute the orders of the military commander on civilians by a squad of soldiers using such force as is necessary, on the imprimatur of a military commander, but preserve the right of civilians to be tried by a jury in the civilian courts with all the safeguards inherent in such procedure, and made such prosecution the exclusive means of enforcement."

     Of the federal legislation on the subject, Judge Hall said: "Executive Order 9066 and Law 503, taken together, were not designed to supplant but to supplement and aid the civil authorities in carrying out their duties of prosecution and punishment under ordinary law as expressed in existing legislation."

     A. L. Wirin, legal representative for the Nisei, declared:

     "The noteworthy and courageous opinion of Judge Hall represents the first favorable decision by a judge of any court on the Pacific Coast involving the military exclusion orders upon persons of Japanese descent."

     The military authorities appeared in court through the United States attorney for southern California, Charles H. Carr, and Edward J. Ennis of the Department of Justice at Washington, D. C.

Source Pacific Citizen, Saturday June 9, 1945, page 5