According to organizer Prof. Alfred Yen (Law), the conference will feature an Oct. 3 symposium, "The Long Shadow of Korematsu," which will focus on the case that Yen calls "a dark moment in the history of the Supreme Court."
In Korematsu v. the United States , the high court ruled that the United States military could continue its practice of rounding up Japanese-Americans in the West and confining them to camps for the duration of the war. In recent years, the federal government has acknowledged that the practice was wrong.
Toyosaburo Korematsu, 79, who brought the legal challenge to the court as an American citizen in 1944, is expected to travel from his California home to attend the symposium. Yen said Korematsu may offer brief remarks at the event.
Approximately 40 law professors from across the country are expected to attend the three-day conference, which will be held in Stuart House, Yen said. Some of the papers that will be presented are the result of federally-funded research aimed at redressing the injustice suffered by American citizens interned in the camps, Yen said.
"The federal government is coming to some recognition that what happened was wrong," said Yen. "It happened because the country as a whole was not well-informed about the diverse ethnic backgrounds of its members. I hope this conference will provoke thought."
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