What makes us think we have rights? I hear people say things like, "Stand up for your rights!" or "It's my right!" or "He has no right to do
that!" and of course, "God given rights.". We all walk around thinking this way, but isn't it a really just a false sense of security? In reality,
what we actually have are privileges. Not given by God, but rather a man made illusion. That man is the federal government and they can, and do, take
them from us whenever they find it useful to their cause.
Following the Pearl Harbor incident, thousands of Japanese Americans began to lose their privileges. In Feb.,1942, Franklin D. Roosevelt began doing
this by signed Executive Order 9066. This was the first of what would be a series of orders, devised by one mans authority, created to deny citizens
of their privileges.
Japanese American internment refers to the forcible relocation and internment in 1942 of approximately 110,000 Japanese nationals and Japanese
Americans to housing facilities called "War Relocation Camps", in the wake of Imperial Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. The internment of
Japanese Americans was applied unequally throughout the United States. Japanese Americans residing on the West Coast of the United States were all
interned, whereas in Hawaii, where more than 150,000 Japanese Americans composed nearly a third of that territory's population, only 1,200 to
1,800 Japanese Americans were interned. Of those interned, 62 percent were United States citizens.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt authorized the internment with Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, which allowed local military commanders
to designate "military areas" as "exclusion zones", from which "any or all persons may be excluded." This power was used to declare that all
people of Japanese ancestry were excluded from the entire Pacific coast, including all of California and most of Oregon and Washington, except for
those in internment camps. In 1944, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the exclusion orders, while noting that the provisions
that singled out people of Japanese ancestry were a separate issue outside the scope of the proceedings.
Eventually between 100,000-120,000 American citizens, most of whom were born in the US, had lost everything, including their assets. They were locked
away in internment camps and you can imagine how they were treated. Though the Constitution states only Congress can change it's protections,
Roosevelt did it quite easily?
The truth is—as this deplorable experience proves—that constitutions and laws are not sufficient of themselves...Despite the unequivocal
language of the Constitution of the United States that the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, and despite the Fifth Amendment's command
that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, both of these constitutional safeguards were denied by
military action under Executive Order 9066. - Former Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark
Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution states "The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of
rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it." but the clause's location implies this authority is vested in Congress, rather than the
President Abraham Lincoln suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War. On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt followed in his
footsteps by signing Executive Order 9066, permitting exclusion of persons from wartime military zones.
Three times now in our history a president has been able to suspend, or disregard, our supposed constitutional rights? Lincoln in the Civil War,
Roosevelt in WWII, and Bush in the War on Terror. Worse yet is the fact that many of these laws are still in place today?
Several significant legal decisions arose out of Japanese American internment, relating to the powers of the government to detain citizens in
wartime. Among the cases which reached the Supreme Court were Yasui v. United States (1943), Hirabayashi v. United States (1943), ex parte Endo
(1944), and Korematsu v. United States (1944). In Yasui and Hirabayashi the court upheld the constitutionality of curfews based on Japanese ancestry;
in Korematsu the court upheld the constitutionality of the exclusion order. In Endo, the court accepted a petition for a writ of habeas corpus and
ruled that the WRA had no authority to subject a citizen whose loyalty was acknowledged to its procedures.
It is important to note that the rulings of the US Supreme Court in the 1944 Korematsu and Hirabayashi cases, specifically, its expansive
interpretation of government powers in wartime, were not overturned. They are still the law of the land because a lower court cannot overturn a ruling
by the US Supreme Court. However, the coram nobis cases totally undermined the factual underpinnings of the 1944 cases, leaving the original decisions
without the proverbial legal leg to stand on. But in light of the fact that these 1944 decisions are still on the books, a number of legal
scholars have expressed the opinion that the original Korematsu and Hirabayashi decisions have taken on an added relevance in the context of the War
These people were American citizens, most of whom were born in the US. They were probably told the same as all the others about their "God given
rights". Nonetheless, they had no rights or privileges and the same goes for all Americans. When you look around a bit we are losing rights
everywhere! Workers, education, maybe voters rights? Incidences like Waco and Ruby Ridge? Property rights are long gone due to property taxes!
There is no doubt that our rights are just an illusion. All we have are temporary privileges that can be taken away at any time. The Constitution is
very effective when followed to the letter. The safeguards are there and protect us from all this. The problem is we are not following these rules at
all. Laws are only to be created by congress, not the executive branch? The president has no legal authority to suspend habeas corpus or attack any
country he chooses?
We only have ourselves to blame for letting this happen. Most American's probably know little to nothing about the Constitution, or how vitally
important it is? Once it is gone it's gone forever.